Friday, March 27, 2015

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: Lady of the Eternal City by Kate Quinn

01_Lady of the Eternal City

Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Berkley Trade
Formats: eBook, Paperback
528 Pages
Series: Empress of Rome Series, Book Four
Genre: Historical Fiction

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National bestselling author Kate Quinn returns with the long-awaited fourth volume in the Empress of Rome series, an unforgettable new tale of the politics, power, and passion that defined ancient Rome.

Elegant, secretive Sabina may be Empress of Rome, but she still stands poised on a knife’s edge. She must keep the peace between two deadly enemies: her husband Hadrian, Rome’s brilliant and sinister Emperor; and battered warrior Vix, who is her first love. But Sabina is guardian of a deadly secret: Vix’s beautiful son Antinous has become the Emperor’s latest obsession.

Empress and Emperor, father and son will spin in a deadly dance of passion, betrayal, conspiracy, and war. As tragedy sends Hadrian spiraling into madness, Vix and Sabina form a last desperate pact to save the Empire. But ultimately, the fate of Rome lies with an untried girl, a spirited redhead who may just be the next Lady of the Eternal City...

My Review

I have been a fan of Kate Quinn ever since I read her novel Mistress of Rome, which was about yet another ruthless emperor (seriously, how many weren’t either ruthless or insane), Domitian, and also happens to be the first novel in this series. So, when I was given the chance to read and review Lady of the Eternal City, which is the fourth volume in the Empress of Rome series, but on the second one I’ve had the chance to read, I jumped at the chance! After reading, and absolutely loving Mistress of Rome a couple years ago, I paid attention the next time I noticed a new novel by Kate Quinn coming out. It made it that much better when I saw it was the first novel in a series of novels about the Borgias, a family I can’t get enough of. So, I picked up the book The Lion and the Rose, and I was not disappointed in the least, and Ms. Quinn has found herself a lifelong fan! Anyways, this is a review about Lady of the Eternal City by Kate Quinn, not her other novels, so I should probably get back on track!

Lady of the Eternal City is just as great as I expected it to be coming from Kate Quinn, and belonging in a series and interesting and with as strong of a historical base as this one has. There is everything that you expect a novel that takes place in Rome in the 2nd Century; intrigue, murder, betrayal, passion, love, sex, romance, and danger. The author is able to take this considerable amount of drama and actual history, and weave a wonderful and exciting tale that puts you right in the middle of everything. Ms. Quinn’s writing style is seriously fantastic, and you can easily get lost for hours while reading. I also appreciate that massive amount of historical research that obviously goes into her novels. It is awesome when historical fiction authors have creative license to use, but still choose to try to stay close to historical accuracy, while keeping still keeping the novel as interesting and smooth flowing as possible.

At first Sabina seems almost cold and standoffish, like she doesn’t really have feelings, or at least have feelings that she shows. As the novel goes on the reader is able to relate to her better, and find out that he coldness is just a façade that she puts up as a type of protection, and that there is much more to her. Her relationship with both Hadrian and Vix are confusing at times, but I like that she isn’t afraid to go “toe-to-toe” with them just because they are men. Overall great characters that make it easier for readers to relate to certain characters, and to root them on to a happy ending!

I would recommend this to all lovers of historical fiction, especially those who enjoy more of the Ancient Rome time period. However, that is not my favorite time period, and I absolutely love this series, so I think that historical fiction fans in general will really enjoy it. Great book, great writing, great characters, and a great story. I give Lady of the Eternal City a solid FIVE out of FIVE stars!

Praise for Lady of the Eternal City

“Quinn specializes in bringing the splendor of Britannia and Rome to readers. The tangled lives of her three-dimensional characters represent the entanglements of the Empire. She cleverly pulls readers into the complex relationships, and even more complicated history, while bouncing back and forth between viewpoints. This is a feast for historical readers.” - Romantic Times Book Reviews

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Book Depository

Titles in The Empress of Rome Series

Book One: Mistress of Rome
Book Two: Daughters of Rome
Book Three: Empress of the Seven Hills
Book Four: Lady of the Eternal City

Praise for The Empress of Rome Series

“Gorgeously wrought.”— C. W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow

“Deeply passionate.”—Kate Furnivall, author of Shadows on the Nile

“[An] epic, sexy romp.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Author

02_Kate Quinn AuthorKate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance detailing the early years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple languages.

Kate has succumbed to the blogging bug, and keeps a blog filled with trivia, pet peeves, and interesting facts about historical fiction. She and her husband now live in Maryland with a small black dog named Caesar, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

For more information visit Kate Quinn's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Lady of the Eternal City Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 2
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, March 3
Spotlight at Historical Readings and Reviews

Wednesday, March 4
Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, March 5
Review at The Maiden's Court

Friday, March 6
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes

Monday, March 9
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Review at The Mad Reviewer

Wednesday, March 11
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, March 12
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Sunday, March 15
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, March 16
Review at Just One More Chapter
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, March 17
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, March 18
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Monday, March 23
Review at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, March 26
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, March 27
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Genre Queen
Review at Let Them Read Books
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

REVIEW TOUR & GIVEAWAY: Silk by Chris Karlsen


Welcome to my tour stop for the historical suspense novel Silk by Chris Karlsen. This is an adult book and is rated NC17. This is a review tour runs March 16-27th. Check out the tour page for more information and the tour schedule.

About the Book:

Silk on the skin—luxurious, luscious..lethal.

London-Fall, 1888

The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum's beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.

Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they'd better be right and have proof.

As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case.

 What would you do to stay young: Lie, Manipulate..kill?

Goodreads | Amazon

My Review:

Silk by Chris Karlsen is definitely different from the average historical fiction novel that I love to read, but in a good way. I enjoyed the departure from the norm, and the journey into the “dark” side. It was incredibly interesting viewing things from the perspective of the killer, and while it was at time pretty morbid, it was also extremely interesting in a “can’t put the book down, must keep going” type of way! I love how well the author described London. As a reader, you could definitely picture what it would be like to actually walk the streets during the time that this story takes place. The mystery in the novel is great, and you don’t know who the other murderer is until the very end. Not only do you get the killer’s perspective, but you also get the perspective of the detective who is in search of the killer. I liked how the two opposing perspectives were set up against each other to basically narrate what was happening for the reader. I had never read a book written like this before, so it was new to me, and made it that much more interesting to me.

If you are looking for a romance novel, than this is not the book that you want to pick up to read. There is a little bit of romance, but not much. The book does have some great sex scenes, but you definitely don’t want to buy this book if you love reading novels about romantic love that is perfect and lasts forever. If you’re afraid that it’s going to be horrifically gruesome, because it’s a book about a killer, don’t worry. The killings are actually quite tastefully done (if that’s possible!) The book is very mysterious and suspenseful, and if you’re looking for a great read that will keep you up at night (plus, it’s only the first book in a series) then this is a good choice!

I give this book a FIVE out of FIVE stars!

Book Trailer:

About the Author:

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write two different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters.

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.

Website | Facebook | Pinterest


Each tour stop is giving away one kindle copy of SILK, just comment to enter!
In addition, fill out the rafflecopter to enter to win:

Kindle copy of SILK, swag bag & a $10 Amazon gift card (INT)

Ends April 1, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Gosford's Daughter by Mary Daheim


It's 1585 at Gosford's End in the Scottish Highlands, where seventeen-year-old Sorcha Fraser is impatient to sample life outside of her close-knit family circle. Graced with the beauty and spirit of her parents, Iain and Dallas, she doesn't have long to wait. While out riding, Sorcha meets a strangely compelling young man in priestly robes. She can't foresee that Gavin Napier's destiny will become forever intrinsically linked with her own fate. As Catholics, they are an endangered species in Protestant Scotland. Even King James has renounced the religion of his mother, Mary Stuart. The lives of all who remain faithful to "popish" ways are in grave danger.

Yet every time fate throws Sorcha and Gavin together, they're cruelly torn apart. At court, she becomes a favorite of King James, who sends her to comfort his imprisoned mother in England. After Mary's execution, Sorcha returns to Scotland where she finds the capricious monarch entangled in a nest of vipers. The most vicious of all is a dazzling courtesan who wields her beauty to set the clans against each other. But ultimately not even those otherworldly powers can prevail against the will--and the love--of Gavin Napier and Gosford's daughter.

Gosford's Daughter continues the story that began with The Royal Mile. First published in 1988 under the title, Passion's Triumph.

My Review:

Gosford's Daughter by Mary Daheim was a really enjoyable historical romance read. I loved Sorcha's character in this book. She is young, beautiful, and full of life. She is at the perfect age to fall in love, and Sorcha and Gavin are put together at the perfect time. However, frustratingly for the reader, they are torn apart over and over, just as it seems they have found one another, and are ready to really be together! While this is frustrating, it does make for a good read, because you really don't have a clue as to what is going to happen next in the story.

I thought the book was well written, and the setting was really well described. I could definitely picture Scotland's scenery in my mind while I was reading. Sorcha's character was likable, and as a reader I definitely was rooting for her happiness the entire time, which is important to me. I also was a huge fan of this book, because it takes place during a time that I find completely fascinating. The time period when the Tudors and Queen Mary were alive is so interesting to me, and I read every book I can get my hands on about their lives. Overall I thought this was a great book, and I enjoyed reading it from start to finish.

I would definitely give it a FOUR out of FIVE stars!

About the Author:

Seattle native Mary Richardson Daheim lives three miles from the house where she was raised. Upon getting her journalism degree from the University of Washington, she went to work for a newspaper in Anacortes, Washington. She married David Daheim and moved to Port Angeles where she became a reporter for the local daily. Both tours of small-town duty gave her the background for the Alpine/Emma Lord series. Mary spent much of her non-fiction career in public relations. She began her career as a novelist with seven historical romances before switching to mysteries in 1991. She has published at least 55 novels. Mary's husband David died in February, 2010; they had been married for more than 43 years. They have three daughters, Barbara, Katherine and Magdalen, and two granddaughters, Maisy and Clara. For more information, go to

Pre-order Gosford's Daughter:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

BLOG TOUR & SPOTLIGHT: Spoils of Olympus by Christian Kachel

02_By the Sword_Cover

Publication Date: September 29, 2014 (Kindle), November 10, 2014 (Print) 
Publisher: Endeavour Press (Kindle), Createspace (Print)
Formats: eBook, Print
Pages: 370
Series: The Spoils of Olympus
Genre: Historical Fiction/Military Fiction

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322 B.C. The Macedonian Empire is on the verge of civil war following the sudden death of Alexander the Great.

As a boy, Andrikos watched as Alexander's army marched through his homeland of Greek Ionia after defeating the Persians at the Granicus River on their way to the total conquest of the Persian Empire. Soon he will be embroiled in their world, forced to flee his old life due to an unintentional crime.

Thrust into the army, Andrikos struggles to cope with the brutal yet necessary training which his superiors put him through to prepare for the coming wars of succession as Alexander's surviving generals seek to divide and conquer the spoils of Olympus.

But Andrikos is not destined to be a nameless soldier; by chance he is chosen for a clandestine mission - and is immersed in a world of intrigue, violence and brotherhood.

The path that lies ahead of Andrikos requires him to shed his immaturity and take on the responsibilities and emotions of a man beyond his years as he struggles to save Alexander's legacy from those who wish to usurp it.

The Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword is a historical epic which follows the advancements of one soldier from boy to man set during a time of global conflict.

Praise for The Spoils of Olympus

"Kachel does a wonderful job portraying the development of Andrikos from awkward, immature youth to confident and skilled operative." (Kirkus Reviews)

"5 stars out of 5. All day long." (Ancient & Medieval Mayhem)

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About the Author

03_Christian Kachel_AuthorI am a Long Island, NY native and current resident of Northern Virginia. While attending the University of Maryland- College Park, the events of September 11, 2001 inspired me to join the U.S. Army ROTC program and volunteer for three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan upon my commissioning into the Army Reserves in 2003. I hold three Master's degrees and work in the defense industry.

The Spoils of Olympus has been a 2 1/2 year project that began in a Marriott hotel room in San Antonio, Texas while attending pre deployment training for a tour in Afghanistan in late 2011. The wars of succession immediately following the death of Alexander the Great have always fascinated me despite being overshadowed in the history books by the life and times of Alexander himself. Many great novels have been written about ancient Greece and Alexander but few fictional works have explored this forgotten era in western civilization where Alexander's generals, who were once allies, battled each other for control of the largest empire on earth.

By the Sword is the first novel in The Spoils of Olympus series and introduces us to the story's protagonist, Andrikos. The book follows him from an adolescence of criminality and capriciousness to his forced enlistment in the wars of succession; taking him from the battlefields of Asia Minor to the Achaemenid palaces of the Persian Empire. It is my hope readers will enjoy the story while learning about this important time in history.

For more information please visit Christian Kachel's website. You can also find him on Facebook.

The Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 2
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, March 4
Interview & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, March 6
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Monday, March 9
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, March 10
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, March 11
Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, March 12
Review at bookramblings
Review at The Mad Reviewer

Friday, March 13
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

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Friday, March 6, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Return of the Highland Laird by Amy Jarecki

  • ISBN-13: 9780692248065
  • Publisher: Rapture Books
  • Publication date: 8/13/2014
  • Pages: 130


A short historical novella from Amy Jarecki ~ 

An untimely tempest transports two miserable and lost souls to England’s Abbey Wood where they stumble across each other’s paths. Lady Jane, a battered woman and accused murderess—Laird Alexander, fleeing his keep after blaming himself for the accidental death of his wife.

Both souls must heal their wounds. Both souls have reason to keep their identities hidden. This misshapen pair discovers each needs the other—though neither is willing to admit dependence.

Alexander must return to his kin and resume his laird’s mantle. Lady Jane must clear her name and find forgiveness. But before healing can begin, it is essential they learn to trust…and love.

My Review

You know that you’ve found a great historical romance author, when you read one of her novella’s, and you are completely lost in the book within the first five pages! Return to the Highland Laird: A Highland Force Novella by Amy Jarecki was definitely that great. Being that it was a novella, it was shorter than a regular novel, so the author had less time to grab my attention, and she definitely was able to do so. The main character, Laird Alexander Macleod is running from his pain, traveling nowhere, after his wife died. He ends up beaten and near death, but makes his way to the cottage of Jane. Jane is afraid that death will follow him, and attempts to get him to leave, but his injuries are too severe. He ends up offering to do work for Jane in return for a place to stay and heal from his injuries. Feelings between them end up being fired up, and he begins to wonder if he will be able to leave her and return to his home even after he heals from his wounds.

I love Amy Jarecki’s historical romance novels. I’ve read several over the years, and I’ve never been disappointed. She always creates characters that you relate to as a reader, and that are likable. She also does a great job at creating a plot that is interesting and exciting to follow, and descriptions that make you feel like you are right in the middle of the story. 

I would recommend any of Ms. Jarecki’s historical romance novels to fans of that genre. I can honestly say that I don’t believe you will be disappointed! I give this novel a FIVE out of FIVE stars!

About the Author

A descendant of an ancient Lowland clan, Amy adores Scotland. Though she now resides in southwest Utah, she received her MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Winning multiple writing awards, she found her niche in the genre of Scottish historical romance. Amy loves hearing from her readers and can be contacted through her website at

Visit author's amazon page HERE.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

BLOG TOUR & SPOTLIGHT: The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker

02_The Witch of Napoli Cover

Publication Date: January 15, 2015 
Palladino Books 
Formats: eBook, Paperback 
 Genre: Historical Fantasy 

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 Italy 1899: Fiery-tempered, erotic medium Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table at a Spiritualist séance in Naples. A reporter photographs the miracle, and wealthy, skeptical, Jewish psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi arrives in Naples to investigate. When she materializes the ghost of his dead mother, he risks his reputation and fortune to finance a tour of the Continent, challenging the scientific and academic elite of Europe to test Alessandra’s mysterious powers. She will help him rewrite Science. His fee will help her escape her sadistic husband Pigotti and start a new life in Rome. Newspapers across Europe trumpet her Cinderella story and baffling successes, and the public demands to know – does the “Queen of Spirits” really have supernatural powers? Nigel Huxley is convinced she’s simply another vulgar, Italian trickster. The icy, aristocratic detective for England’s Society for the Investigation of Mediums launches a plot to trap and expose her. The Vatican is quietly digging up her childhood secrets, desperate to discredit her supernatural powers; her abusive husband Pigotti is coming to kill her; and the tarot cards predict catastrophe. Praised by Kirkus Reviews as an “enchanting and graceful narrative” that absorbs readers from the very first page, The Witch of Napoli masterfully resurrects the bitter 19th century battle between Science and religion over the possibility of an afterlife.

Praise for The Witch of Napoli

" enchanting, graceful narrative that absorbs readers from the first page." -Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

03_Michael Schmicker AuthorMichael Schmicker is an investigative journalist and nationally-known writer on the paranormal. He's been a featured guest on national broadcast radio talk shows, including twice on Coast to Coast AM (560 stations in North America, with 3 million weekly listeners). He also shares his investigations through popular paranormal webcasts including Skeptiko, hosted by Alex Tsakiris; Speaking of Strange with Joshua Warren; the X-Zone, with Rob McConnell (Canada); and he even spent an hour chatting with spoon-bending celebrity Uri Geller on his program Parascience and Beyond (England). He is the co-author of The Gift, ESP: The Extraordinary Experiences of Ordinary People (St. Martin's Press). The Witch of Napoli is his debut novel. Michael began his writing career as a crime reporter for a suburban Dow-Jones newspaper in Connecticut, and worked as a freelance reporter in Southeast Asia for three years. He has also worked as a stringer for Forbes magazine, and Op-Ed contributor to The Wall Street Journal Asia. His interest in investigating the paranormal began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand where he first encountered a non-Western culture which readily accepts the reality of ghosts and spirits, reincarnation, psychics, mediums, divination,and other persistently reported phenomena unexplainable by current Science. He lives and writes in Honolulu, Hawaii, on a mountaintop overlooking Waikiki and Diamond Head. Connect with Michael Schmicker on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Witch of Napoli Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, February 17
Review at Book Babe
Wednesday, February 18
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews
Thursday, February 19
Review & Giveaway at A Dream Within a Dream
Interview at Books and Benches
Saturday, February 21
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary
Sunday, February 22
Review at Carole's Ramblings
Monday, February 23
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Interview at Boom Baby Reviews
Tuesday, February 24
Guest Post & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews
Wednesday, February 25
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, February 27
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books
Saturday, February 28
Spotlight at I Heart Reading
Monday, March 2
Review at A Book Drunkard
Tuesday, March 3
Review at Unshelfish
Wednesday, March 4
Review at Carpe Librum
Thursday, March 5
Interview at Carpe Librum
Friday, March 6
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Monday, March 9
Review at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, March 10
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Wednesday, March 11
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Thursday, March 12
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Tuesday, March 17
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Wednesday, March 18
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Thursday, March 19
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Friday, March 20
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

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