Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GUEST POST: History of Treatment for the Insane by Julie Dewey Author of The Back Building

The author of The Back Building, Julie Dewey, wrote this excellent guest post about the different treatments used throughout history to treat people who suffered from depression and insanity. Very interesting post!!

I wrote the book, The Back Building, because I was intrigued by the diagnosis and treatment of mentally ill patients in the 1800’s as well as the early 1900’s.  I was astounded to learn that a person could be diagnosed as being insane just because they were homeless, jobless, elderly, or opinionated.   Often a person who was seen as a blight on their community was sent away to an alms house, jail, hospital, or asylum for the insane.  Of course, some people were legitimately unbalanced, but for my purposes anyone declared as being mentally ill suffered the same treatment.
Once at a given facility, the patient was often mistreated and dehumanized.  Patients were chained to bed rails and jail cells, they were stripped of their clothing and dignity.  Often they were starved and beaten, all in an attempt to rid them of the devil. 

During the early 1800’s some medical doctors were experimenting with procedures to “cure” their patients.  Lobotomies were first performed with saws but later ice picks and hammers became the preferred tools.  Picks were jammed directly into a person’s eye sockets where brain matter was scrambled and removed in an effort to relieve a person from their illness.  Crass tools with scoops and sharp edges come to mind, as well as catatonic patients.

Insulin therapy was additionally studied and used on patients in an effort to calm them.  Patients were overdosed with insulin and put into a coma, their brains were starved and blood sugar levels plummeted.  

Trepanation was yet another barbaric form of treatment used to “cure” patients of their illness.  Holes
were drilled directly into their skulls in patterns in order to allow the demon to escape. 

Hydrotherapy was another, less invasive, yet still uncomfortable treatment used to calm mentally ill patients.  Patients were submerged in a tub of water, sometimes ice cold, for hours on end and then were wrapped in sheets and
mummified.  Or they were blasted with sharp shards of water from high impact hoses in an attempt to heal them.

ECT is still used today as a treatment for depression, schizophrenia, and other ailments when medications are not effective.  However, the history of ECT is nothing short of barbaric and hazardous.  Patients were often strapped down to beds, while electrodes were attached to their scalps.  They were not given pain medication, relaxants, or anesthesia and many had heart attacks on the table, or died during the procedure.
I realize I paint a dramatic, God awful picture of humanity as I describe the methods employed over time to alleviate and control mental illness.  Unfortunately, my research indicates all of these treatments were widely and regularly used.  What’s more startling is the doctors truly believed they were useful and beneficial. 

Mental illness was simply not understood and accepted then as it is today.  Sure, we still have stigma’s, and there is no doubt that we struggle as a society to understand and conceptualize what it means to be “normal”.  However, centuries of research, in addition to patient’s rights, and a wider understanding of the mind has led us to far more practical and humane treatments for patients. 

The Back Building does not delve into all of these treatments, but it does compare and contrast some of the methods used to treat patients over the course of four generations.  I believe, and if you read my book you will see why, that it is love, faith, and understanding that have the greatest impact on anyone who suffers with a mental illness.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

BOOK RELEASE DAY: Riding for Redemption by Bonnie R. Paulson



Desperate to find her place in the world, Sara Beth dreams of applying for the Miss Wrangler Montana competition that tours with the rodeo circuit.

Riding horses has become her anchor until a near fatal accident takes more from her than she’d ever willingly sacrifice.

Determined to prove his business training, Johnny seeks out the Rourke family to call in an old favor. When he embroils himself in Sara Beth’s life, he has to prove they’re nothing more than friends.
Seeking independence, both Sara Beth and Johnny lean on each other more and more, until love threatens their friendship. Will they seek out each other or be confused by their dreams?

Can either of them leave their past and embrace their future?

Add to your TBR list on Goodreads
Pre-order on Amazon


Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and give every romance the genetic strength to survive. Bonnie has discovered a dark and twisty turn in her writing that she hopes you enjoy as much as she has enjoyed uncovering it. Dirt biking with her family in the Northwest keeps her sane.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: The Back Building by Julie Dewey

02_The Back Building

Publication Date: October 30, 2014
JWD Press Formats: Ebook, Paperback 
ISBN: 978-1503038844 
Pages: 196 
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Iona Mueller arrives alone at the Willard Asylum for the Insane in this epic tale that spans a century. Through the Mueller family we take a deep look at what it means to be mentally ill in the year 1915 and in the present day. By the time she reached fifteen years old, Iona had failed to become a “proper young lady” which profoundly concerned her parents. Her one and only friend, Hetty, the family maid, warned her not to disobey them but Iona couldn’t help herself. Iona’s quirk of counting steps may have been overlooked but when her mother and father learned of her exploits in the woods near her home in Ithaca, New York, she was taken to the town doctor. The doctor took one look at her self-cut short, mangled hair, learned of her bizarre behavior, and declared her insane. At Willard Asylum on Seneca Lake there were plenty of activities to occupy her, including the job she procured working in the barn. Besides, she knew she was not anything like the crazy patients that banged their heads against the cinder walls until they bled or ran naked through the hallways. She was disobedient, that was true, and she would change. If only her parents would accept her correspondence and allow her to return home. Iona’s new roommate, Cat, made every night a fight for survival. When Iona was caught trying to run away she was sent to the second ward, where her fate was sealed. Subject to tranquilizers and hydrotherapy, ice baths and physical beatings, Iona had only one thing on her mind. She had to stay away from the back building. Once you were placed there you were never seen again. Iona met James at the institution’s barn. His kindness made the deprivation more bearable. He recognized that the violet hollows beneath her eyes, the bruises on her arms, and her apparent unraveling were the effect of the second ward. A plan was put into place, one that would remove Iona from harm’s way permanently. In present day, it is Jenna, a young relative of Iona’s, who is plagued with mental illness. Jenna’s odd behaviors, bizarre language, and confusion disrupt her once perfectly normal life. Jenna’s family members trace their roots back to Iona in hopes of understanding their predisposition to mental illness. The journey leads them to an amazing discovery of the suitcases left behind by hundreds of patients at the Willard Asylum.

My Review:

The Back Building by Julie Dewey is an excellent read. I was hooked as soon as I started reading it! I’ve always had an interest in how mentally ill patients were treated in the past. I knew through reading different internet articles or books, that they were not treated well, and this book definitely highlights that. Iona’s experience in the Willard Hospital for the Insane is horrible. She was lucky to have survived what she went through. Despite some of the problems that Iona had, she was a very strong woman who was able to live through some devastating occurrences that some women might not have been able to pull through.

The characters in this book were very well written, and you could really relate to them. As a reader you were hoping for Iona to pull through everything, and to achieve happiness. You felt pure anger and hatred towards the nurse, Patty. And, there were a lot of mixed feelings towards one of the other patients, Cat. The author also really gives readers the full sense of what was happening at some of these institutions. Iona talks about seeing women laying naked in the hall with dead eyes. The other patients talk about women who go into the back building and are never seen again. It was definitely a terrifying place, especially for someone as young as Iona.

I enjoyed reading this book, but I was a little frustrated about how Iona’s story just ended abruptly, and all of a sudden I was reading the story of her great-granddaughter Jenna. Two generations were skipped, and the story of her life didn’t seem to have an ending for me. There was no leading up to it, just all of a sudden it was part two, and I was reading the modern day story of her great granddaughter’s struggle with mental illness. At first I didn’t know who I was reading about. I assumed I was reading about her daughter, then I thought maybe it was her granddaughter, finally I realized it was Iona’s GREAT granddaughter that I was now reading about! That was a little frustrating for me. Also, I felt like the dialogue between James and Iona was at times a little forced. It just did not seem to flow as smoothly as I would think dialogue would between lovers. It was almost “too” much, like trying too hard or something?

Anyways, overall I really did like the book, and I would definitely recommend it. I give this book a FOUR out of FIVE stars! 

Buy the Book


About the Author

Julie DeweyJulie Dewey is the author of four novels, including Forgetting Tabitha: The Story of an Orphan Train Rider, One Thousand Porches, The Back Building, and Cat, Book 1 of the Livin Large Series. Two have been on Amazon’s Top 100 Book List. She resides in Central New York with her husband and two children. For more information please visit Julie Dewey's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook.

The Back Building Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 22 
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews 
Wednesday, December 24 
Review at Peeking Between the Pages 
Friday, December 26 
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book 
Saturday, December 27 
Spotlight at Broken Teepee 
Monday, December 29 
Review at Historical Fiction Connection 
Tuesday, December 30 
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books 
Wednesday, December 31 
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Obsession

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Friday, December 26, 2014

REVIEW: Once More, My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath


Once More, My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath The first part of the book didn't really grab my interest, and I had trouble connecting to the characters, because "Phee" was definitely portrayed as someone who was difficult to like! Also, she was so horrid towards the hero at the beginning of the story, that it's hard to forget. She has her reasons for why she supposedly acted the way she did towards him, but I still do not think they were warranted. The last part of the book I started to get into it more, and I began to relate to the characters much better. Drake seemed like an all-around nice and honest man, and makes for a great hero. He could have had a little more of a "bad boy" in him, because he definitely does lack the rogue side of the character, but he is likable. Lady Ophelia becomes more likable, but the author put so much effort into making her unlikable, that really nothing can save her character.

Overall the story was well written, and it was a good work of historical romance. I gave it FOUR out of FOUR stars.

My Review:

Once More, My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath The first part of the book didn't really grab my interest, and I had trouble connecting to the characters, because "Phee" was definitely portrayed as someone who was difficult to like! Also, she was so horrid towards the hero at the beginning of the story, that it's hard to forget. She has her reasons for why she supposedly acted the way she did towards him, but I still do not think they were warranted. The last part of the book I started to get into it more, and I began to relate to the characters much better. Drake seemed like an all-around nice and honest man, and makes for a great hero. He could have had a little more of a "bad boy" in him, because he definitely does lack the rogue side of the character, but he is likable. Lady Ophelia becomes more likable, but the author put so much effort into making her unlikable, that really nothing can save her character.

Overall the story was well written, and it was a good work of historical romance. I gave it FOUR out of FOUR stars.


Heath steals your heart, then takes you on a journey that will leave you torn between tears and joy. (Christina Dodd)

“She writes from the heart and it shows!” (The Literary Times)

“Sensitive, funny and altogether enchanting!” (Dallas News)

“Master storyteller Heath perfectly threads together emotional power and deep romance. Taking her cue from Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist, she reinvents the story so we see what might have happened to the older Oliver. Few writers engage readers’ hearts and minds as beautifully as Heath certainly does.” Top Pick (Romantic Times BOOKclub)

About the Author:

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases for a publicist, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. In 1990, she read a romance novel and not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA's RITA®, a HOLT Medallion, and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

COVER REVEAL: Chronicles of Steele Raven by Pauline Creeden


In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. 

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. It is also the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Winner in Historical Fiction. 

Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Readers’ Choice Gold Award for Best YA Horror Novel. 

Her other books include: 

First Impression: A Shadow Maven Paranormal is her first mystery. It’s a dark urban/paranormal fantasy and was just released in March 2014. 

Abiding Flame: A Catalyst Novel is a Christian Science fiction/dark fantasy that has been described as a Star Trek episode with Frank Peretti influences, released with Prism Book Group’s new ILLUMINATE line. 

Chronicles of Steele: Raven is a steampunk fantasy set in an alternate universe. First released in a 4-part serial and now is in a complete pack.

Sign up for her newsletter HERE

Monday, December 22, 2014

BOOK BLAST: The Iris Fan by Laura Joh Rowland

Please join author Laura Joh Rowland as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Iris Fan: A Novel of Feudal Japan, from December 9-January 9.

02_The Iris Fan Cover

 Publication Date: December 9, 2014 
Minotaur Books Formats: eBook, Hardcover 
 Series: Sano Ichiro Mystery Series (Book 18) 
Genre: Historical Mystery

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Japan, 1709. The shogun is old and ailing. Amid the ever-treacherous intrigue in the court, Sano Ichiro has been demoted from chamberlain to a lowly patrol guard. His relationship with his wife Reiko is in tatters, and a bizarre new alliance between his two enemies Yanagisawa and Lord Ienobu has left him puzzled and wary. Sano’s onetime friend Hirata is a reluctant conspirator in a plot against the ruling regime. Yet, Sano's dedication to the Way of the Warrior—the samurai code of honor—is undiminished. Then a harrowing, almost inconceivable crime takes place. In his own palace, the shogun is stabbed with a fan made of painted silk with sharp-pointed iron ribs. Sano is restored to the rank of chief investigator to find the culprit. This is the most significant, and most dangerous, investigation of his career. If the shogun's heir is displeased, he will have Sano and his family put to death without waiting for the shogun's permission, then worry about the consequences later. And Sano has enemies of his own, as well as unexpected allies. As the previously unimaginable death of the shogun seems ever more possible, Sano finds himself at the center of warring forces that threaten not only his own family but Japan itself. Riveting and richly imagined, with a magnificent sense of time and place, The Iris Fan is the triumphant conclusion to Laura Joh Rowland's brilliant series of thrillers set in feudal Japan.

The Sano Ichiro Mystery Series Titles

Shinju Bundori The Way of the Traitor The Concubine's Tattoo The Samurai's Wife Black Lotus The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria The Dragon King's Palace The Perfumed Sleeve The Assassin's Touch The Red Chrysanthemum The Snow Empress The Fire Kimono The Cloud Pavilion The Ronin's Mistress The Incense Game The Shogun's Daughter The Iris Fan.

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author

03_Laura Joh RowlandGranddaughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants, Laura Joh Rowland grew up in Michigan and where she graduated with a B.S. in microbiology and a Master of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She is the author of sixteen previous Sano Ichiro thrillers set in feudal Japan. The Fire Kimono was named one of the Wall Street Journal's "Five Best Historical Mystery Novels"; and The Snow Empress and The Cloud Pavilion were among Publishers Weekly's Best Mysteries of the Year. She currently lives in New Orleans with her husband. She has worked as a chemist, microbiologist, sanitary inspector and quality engineer. For more information please visit Laura’s website. You can also follow her on Facebook.

The Iris Fan Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, December 9
Book Blast, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, December 10
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse
Friday, December 12
Book Blast at Queen of All She Reads
Monday, December 15
Book Blast at Layered Pages
Tuesday, December 16
Review at Book Dilletante
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog
Wednesday, December 17
Book Blast at CelticLady's Reviews
Thursday, December 18
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Friday, December 19
Review at Unshelfish
Book Blast at I'd So Rather Be Reading
Monday, December 22
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Buried Under Books
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Obsession
Tuesday, December 23
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, December 29
Interview at Bunny's Reviews
Wednesday, December 31
Book Blast at Becky on Books
Sunday, January 4
Review at Carole's Ramblings
Monday, January 5
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Book Blast at Brooke Blogs
Tuesday, January 6
Review & Interview at The Bluest Butterfly
Wednesday, January 7
Review at Book Babe
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Thursday, January 8
Book Blast at A Literary Vacation
Friday, January 9 Review at Booksie's Blog

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

BOOK TOUR & REVIEW: The Monster on Top of the Bed by Alan H. Jordan

Title: The Monster on Top of the Bed & My Monster on Top of the Bed
Author: Alan H. Jordan
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Book Cover & Blurb:

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Suzy, who used to jump up and down on her bed having just a great time. This scared a young critter named Karrit who lived under Suzy’s bed and he wanted her to be his friend. Still, Suzy ate strange things like cakes made out of pans (pancakes) and the toes of toemays (tomatoes) and—he could not believe it—he heard her talk about eating something truly horrendous.

One day Karrit heard Suzy tell her mother that she was lonely and needed a friend. Because of that Karrit decided to visit Suzy. At first Suzy was afraid of Karrit, who had red, scaly legs, and a blue nose. But Suzy noticed that Karrit seemed scared of her too. So, Suzy treated Karrit the way that she would want to be treated if she had gone to his house.

As they grew to know each other, Suzy figured out why Karrit was afraid of her, and she was sorry to have scared him. She showed him a hotdog (she didn’t eat dogs that were hot) a tomato (she didn’t eat the toes of matoes) and a carrot (she definitely didn’t eat Karrits).

Suzy made Karrit feel that she liked him, and that she wanted him to be happy. Because of that, they kept getting to know each other better until one day they both realized that they didn’t have to be afraid of each other, and that it was a mistake for each of them to think of the other as a “monster.” Suzy and Karrit became best friends, and neither was afraid of monsters again.

My Review:

The Monster on Top of the Bed by Alan H. Jordan is a cute children’s book. I loved that the “monsters” that lived under the little girl, Suzy’s, bed were actually afraid of the little girl, not the other way around! It is a cute twist on monsters living under the bed, and could definitely help children to be less afraid of what might be under their bed at night! I also really love the second part of the book that allows children to write their own story right in the book. I think this idea will work great for older readers.

While I thought the book was cute, I found it a little hard to follow. The pictures are brightly colored, which are great for kids, but some are a little busy. I had to read the story twice to make sure I was following it correctly and understanding the whole story. There is just too much going on in some of the illustrations, so your eye does not focus on one area in particular, you just keep looking all over the place. Other than that, this children’s literature book was really great.

I think that this book is appropriate for ages 2-8. I would definitely recommend this for parents to read to or with their little ones, especially if their little ones are starting to be a little afraid of the dark or wondering what’s under their bed. It might help to make them more comfortable if they believe there are adorable, sweet little monsters under their bed, who are very shy, and more scared of the child than the child is of them!

I give The Monster on Top of the Bed FOUR out of FIVE stars.

Author Bio:

Alan Jordan writes poetry, spiritual books, self-help books, childrens’ books and business books.  He's working on a comic mystery  and a thriller that are scheduled for release in 2016. His Kindle books , I Am Here, Dad; Can You Feel Me, Mom?; and Zoey’s Letter to a Soul, contain full color photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory with hyperlinks  so that when you click on the links you go right to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) web page that provides full details about the picture. 

His children’s book The Monster on Top of the Bed  was written to pass on his strongest beliefs and values to a grandchild, just in case he should pass away before my daughter got pregnant and had a child.


Watch some videos that explain the advantages of “The Monster n Top of the Bed”:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

BOOK TOUR, REVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf by Caldric Blackwell

Book Genre: Picture book.
Publisher: Icasm Press.
Release Date: November 20, 2014.
Buy Link(s): Amazon

Book Blurb:

Six-year-old Byron Woodward is a werewolf who can’t howl. Determined not to embarrass himself after being chosen to lead a full-moon ceremony, he embarks on a mission to learn how to howl. He learns a lot about howling during his journey, but more importantly, he learns a valuable lesson about believing in himself.

My Review:

The Boy Who Couldn’t Cry Wolf by Caldric Blackwell is a really cute story that teaches children a great lesson. The story is basically about a six year old werewolf, Byron Woodward, who is unable to howl at the mood, because he is so worried about what others think of him. He tries to get advice from other werewolves, but nothing works for him, because he is afraid and nervous that he will mess up. He finally is put on the spot, and through a crazy set of events he learns his lesson.

I think this story really teaches children a great lesson about being proud of who you are, and not worrying so much about what others think of you. It teaches them to be themselves and not to hide who they are just because who they are might be different from the “pack”, as it was in this case. So many children, especially now, are afraid to be themselves, and to let others see their faults. It’s so important that they are taught at a young age to accept who they are, and to realize that everyone has faults, and the perfect person does not exist!

I thought the illustrations were really cute, too. They were kid friendly, and the werewolves were not scary at all, definitely perfect for children. I would say this book is appropriate for children ages 4-8. I give this children’s book a FIVE out of FIVE stars. 

My main review post for this book is at my NEW blog (a children's literature blog), My Twins Hid My Book...Again. I plan to cross-post my review posts from that blog to this blog for a little while, since it is so new and has so little followers. Once I have some more people following my new blog, I will go back to posting pretty much only historical fiction reviews, guest posts, spotlights, giveaways, blog tours, etc. Since this IS a blog dedicated to historical fiction, I don't like throwing all kinds of different genres into the mix, but I figure that it's my blog, and mixing it up a little bit once in awhile won't hurt anyone!

Author Bio:

Caldric Blackwell realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (also with single-syllable names) in kindergarten.

Exposure to a host of great authors while studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara inspired him to begin writing fiction. Although he began writing short stories for adults, he eventually migrated to writing children's books. His debut work is an early chapter book titled The Enchanted River Race. His second release is a picture book titled The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf.

Outside of writing, Caldric enjoys hiking and playing the mandolin, banjo, and guitar. Caldric currently resides in California.

Author Links:

Amazon author page:

TOUR December 14 - 20

December 14 - Tour Kickoff at VBT Café Blog
December 15 - Spotlight at Deal Sharing Aunt
December 16 -Spotlight at Tea and A Book
December 17 - Reviewed at Platypire Reviews
December 18 - Reviewed at Debbie Jean Blog
December 19 - Spotlight at Readsalot
Deceimber 19 - Spotlight at Mythical Books
December 20 - Reviewed at My Twins Hid My Book...Again

December 20 - Reviewed at I Feel The Need...The Need To Read

Friday, December 19, 2014

BOOK BLAST GIVEAWAY ($50 Amazon GC): A City Full of Santas by Pooja Sardana

Note to my readers:

I will be posting children's literature here occasionally. I recently started a new blog for children's literature, but I do not have a following yet. I do have a little bit of a following here, so I am currently cross-posting the children's book entries that have money giveaways--this one has a $50 Amazon Gift Card giveaway-it doesn't matter if you are a historical fiction fan, and not a children's book fan, you could always use an amazon gift card! Once I have a decent following at my children's literature blog, I will stop cross-posting any of the children's book entries over here. My children's literature blog, in case you're interested, is Come check it out!

A City Full of Santas

A City Full of Santas 

 Ranked as #1 BestSeller on Amazon India 

This Christmas is special; really special for Santa. 

Read this lovely Christmas tale that would re-define the meaning of 


A must read for everyone. 

Just like Pooja's other books, this book brings love, warmth, and a 

special message. 

A story that parents would love to read to their children.

add to goodreads


Pooja Pooja Sardana, is a mother, a teacher, an illustrator, an author, a visionary and the co-founder of PictureBookTree. Her books and her initiative - PictureBookTree have been widely covered in Indian media and abroad. Titled as one of the Unsung Hero in 'Saga of the Unsung Heroes of India" , she continues to touch lives of many through her books and her work. Her picture books for children can be availed free of cost by NGOs or individuals working with Under-privileged children. If you work with under-privileged children, you can drop an email at Picturebooktree (AT) GMAIL (DOT) COM to receive your free copy.

Praise for the Book 

"Such a lovely story that brings back the meaning of Christmas, one that many will want to read."

"Parents/teachers will enjoy reading this story to their children. The children will be full of questions and want to discuss Santa's surprise."

"Artwork "pops" off the pages pleasantly and story`line has a great message. A fine addition to any Christmas collection and it is a children's book that I would recommend!"



$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
 Ends 1/4/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 
Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. 
No purchase necessary. 
You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. 
The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 
This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. 
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. 
Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr

02_The Unquiet Bones Cover

Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Lion Fiction
Paperback; 256p
ISBN: 978-1-78264-030-1

Series: The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton
Genre: Historical Mystery

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Hugh of Singleton, fourth son of a minor knight, has been educated as a clerk, usually a prelude to taking holy orders. However, he feels no real calling-despite his lively faith-and he turns to the profession of surgeon, training in Paris and then hanging his sign in Oxford. Soon after, a local lord asks Hugh de Singleton to track the killer of a young woman whose bones have been found in the castle cesspool. Through his medical knowledge, Singleton identifies her as the impetuous missing daughter of a local blacksmith. The young man she loved-whom she had provoked very publicly-is quickly arrested and sentenced at Oxford. But this is just the beginning of the tale. The story of Singleton's adventure unfolds with realistic medical procedures, droll medieval wit, romantic distractions, and a consistent underlying sense of Christian compassion.

My Review:

The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr is a fantastic historical fiction, crime solver read. It had my attention from beginning until end. I loved the characters. They were relatable, and completely realistic. Hugh de Singleton was a great main character, very likable and personable. As a reader you wanted him to succeed and find the murderer of the body that was found in the cesspit at Bampton Castle. The author created a really great story line that keeps the reader on their toes guessing what is going to happen next. I honestly did not have a clue as to who was the culprit in the murder of Margaret (the name of the girl whose body was found in the cesspit). I would start to think it might be one character, and then that would be disproved. It was a great ‘whodunnit’ novel. I enjoyed all of the detective work that Hugh does in order to try to find out who murdered Margaret. He has no experience as a detective, but he does a pretty thorough job at trying to find the answers that he needs, even though he is just a small town surgeon.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good historical fiction novel, or even people who like reading a great mystery or detective novel. I am hooked and can’t wait to read the other books in the series. I give this book a FIVE out of FIVE stars!

Praise for The Unquiet Bones

“This skilfully woven story is a delight to read. The setting is exceptionally well crafted. Highly recommended.” —Davis Bunn, best-selling author

Buy the Book

Barnes & Noble
Kreger Publications

About the Author

03_Mel Starr AuthorMel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School. Mel and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.

For more information please visit Mel Starr's website.

The Unquiet Bones Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 1
Review at Carpe Librum

Wednesday, December 10
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Thursday, December 18
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

Friday, December 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Saturday, December 20
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, December 22
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, December 26
Spotlight at Layered Pages

Monday, December 29
Review at A Book Geek
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, December 30
Review at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Wednesday, December 31
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog

Friday, January 2
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

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