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Saturday, September 29, 2012

*[Blog Tour Review] Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi

Willow Pond
The Roaring Twenties crumble into the Great Depression, but Virginia Kingsley, New York's toughest and most successful speakeasy owner, is doing just fine. Now that the world is falling apart, bootlegging is a flourishing business, and she's queen of that castle.

Then her infant nephew is kidnapped. Her niece, Laura, and Laura's philandering movie star husband, are devastated. The police have few leads, and speculation and rumors abound in the media circus that follows the celebrity abduction.

Only one reporter, Erich Muller, seems to care enough about the child's welfare and the parents' feelings to report the case responsibly. Over the course of the investigation, Erich Muller and Laura fall in love, but their relationship is doomed to failure since he suspects her beloved aunt Virginia is behind the kidnapping. Laura, jaded when it comes to men, sides with Virginia.

But Virginia has figured out the truth, and she can't tell anyone for fear of losing her niece's affections and having the police ransack her life. So she pursues her own investigation, shaking down, threatening, and killing one petty crook after another during her search.

Little Todd's absence shapes everyone's lives. When he is finally found, the discovery will bring disaster for some and revelation for others.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 318 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: December 12th 2011 by Carol Tibaldi
 I love novels like these ones. I haven't read a lot of books set in the roaring twenties but the ones I have read have all been very well written just like Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi turned out to be.  I was really impressed with how well the author was able to capture the time period and I know that she probably had to do her fair amount of research because she had to get the details just right and that work certainly paid off in my opinion.
I loved the story line,  I doubt the book would be as successful if it had be written in a later time period because everything seemed to go very well together.However, my favourite part of the book was the characters. I loved how the book was mostly focused on 4 main characters and how their lives all led them on one collision course. Though I do have to say my favourite character was Laura, I couldn't help but like her.
The plot itself could have been a just a little stronger. I felt as though at times the book was being rushed along a bit and I wish it had been just a little more drawn out in parts. Those however are minor issues and can easily be over looked because the rest of the novel fits so well together. I loved how it had drama, mystery and romance all wrapped in to one in a nice little package where one genre wasn't fighting for the spotlight more than the others.
I would highly recommend this book to those who love historical fiction, historical mysteries and books set in the era of the roaring twenties. This book has so much to offer and if left me wanting more, I can't wait to read more by the author and I hope that if she continues to write that we see more books set in this time period from her because she certainly knows what she's doing!
*I received a free copy in exchange for my free and honest review. I was not compensated in any way and all thoughts and opinions expressed therein are my own.
Really Liked It!
★ ★ ★★
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To purchase the book via Amazon CLICK HERE
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

*[Blog Tour Review & Interview] Felice's World's by Henry Massie

Felice's Worlds
Blog  Banner  Felice's_Worlds_banner

Felice Massie was a student in France, caught up in the horrors of Naziism when she was 20 years old. Cut off by the war from her family living in a small village in Poland, she shifted from one country to another attempting to find a home for herself and a means to rescue her parents, brother and sister. As the Holocaust descended on her shtetl, she arrived penniless in America. Over time she raised a family and amassed one of foremost collections of American modern art. Her boldness and resilience became a beacon of hope and inspiration for others.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 211 pages
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: February 14th 2012
First off I'd like to thank Deborah from Pump Up Your Book for inviting me to join the tour for Felice's Worlds, without her I doubt I would have found this book and after reading it I am even more glad that she invited me.
Felice's World was an interesting and dynamic read, one that I'm super glad to have had the pleasure to read and review for the author Henry Massie. I've not had much experience reading memoirs about Holocaust survivors so in that aspect this book was a departure from my usual reads albeit a very welcome one.
The book, written by Felice's son author Henry Massie was a wonderful read.I enjoyed learning about Felice's early childhood and the journey as she grew from a child to a strong, knowledgeable woman. I say I enjoyed it because while the fact that she lived during WWII in Poland until she was able to leave for Palestine I think that the experiences she went through should not be forgotten. 
I think what I most enjoyed about the book was the way the author penned it. You could tell through his writing how much he loved, respected and adored his mother and I think this book is the perfect gift from a son to a mother. It was written in such loving detail I couldn't help but be moved by Felice's story.
I would recommend this book to all readers who enjoy biographies and autobiographies especially those who have a special interest in accounts told by Holocaust survivors. This was such a good read and it opened my eyes to a lot. I highly recommend this book to all of my followers. This is one biography that you should not miss out on reading.
*I received a free copy in exchange for my free and honest review. I was not compensated in any way and all thoughts and opinions expressed therein are my own.

Really Liked It!
★ ★ ★★
To purchase Felice's Worlds via Amazon CLICK HERE
Author  Henry Massie
Henry Massie is a psychiatrist, award-winning author, and pioneering researcher in the field of autism. FELICE’S WORLDS–From the Holocaust to the Halls of Modern Art, is the a memoir and biography of his mother, a brilliant and beautiful woman who participated in many of the most critical periods of the 20th Century.
Website Address:
Twitter Address: @booksbnimble
Interview with Henry Massie
1) First of all, please tell us a special something about what makes you "tick." When you aren't writing, what are you doing.
When I'm not solving my fictional characters' problems or recreating real people's lives on paper, I'm in my office consulting with patients, trying to help them solve problems in real life. I'm a psychiatrist. And when doing none of the above, I may be walking with my dog on Goat Rock beach in northern California.
2) You chose a specific genre, a place and time to write about, what made you choose it?
The genre chose me. Felice's Worlds is a biography of my mother, in a sense her memoir. It is often in the very words she used to tell me about her life and adventures during some of the critical periods of the 20th century. It is also a double-memoir about how her brilliance, boldness and emotional burdens affected me. Her story was dying to be told.
Currently I am working in the very different genre of a highly fictionalized account of how somebody I knew was influenced by his friendship with Marilyn Monroe when he was in high-school and she was in her thirties, in the two years before her death. It is called Prom Date. I fell into writing it because of my fascination with people's desires and dreams and how they turn out.
3) Please share with your readers where you like to write. Do you have a particular space or desk? What can you see from your desk? Do you have props you use to write from? What about special "charms?"
I have three desks: one in my office where I keep charts and so forth, one in a study in my house in Berkeley where I pay bills, and one at my cabin near Guerneville, California, near where the Russian River flows into the Pacific Ocean. The desk at the cabin is where I do my writing. I need to escape from the city desks to the cabin to be creative. "Living on the river," as people say, is to live in another world that fosters fantasies. From my desk there I see three redwood trees reaching to the sky, climbing so high that I can't even see their tops if I put my face to the window and peer up. My desk is completely cluttered with paper, clippings, and notes to myself. My two desks back in town are neat and orderly. The trees outside my window are my writing totems.
4) In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?
A great book has to suck me into it like a whirlpool. After a spell of reading, the characters and their dilemmas in a great book make me feel so tense that I need to put the book down and get some breathing space. The language and imagery has to be alive and poetic. I don't think books that obsess over little details and tiny shades of meaning and feeling are great (I call them dandelion cottage books) even though many critics adore them.
5) Which author(s) most influenced your love of books from childhood?
Starting in about fourth grade I read every Hardy Boy adventure that came out. They still influence my writing. In sixth grade I switched to a series of books about American history for young people. They taught me about real people and events. My interest in character developed in high school when I started reading Faulkner. My favorite was his novella The Bear.
7) Please share with us the underlying message of your book. What would you like your readers to take away after having read the book?
There are several themes running through Felice's Worlds: 1) War endures through millennia in the land called Palestine and Israel because of the never-ending folly of men with guns, 2) Those who suffered the Holocaust have passed their psychological trauma from one generation to the next and the next, 3) Traumatized though they may be, some people show amazing emotional resilience, 4) Beauty may save the soul, but only so far.
I'm content if readers understand these things better after reading Felice's Worlds.
8) Were you able to keep your original title? What was it, if not?
The title of Felice's Worlds was fluid, a shifting about work in progress as long as the book was a work in progress. It didn't crystallize until the book was finished, with help from the publisher.
9) Is there a song or music in general that might best represent your book as a theme song.
Yes, Eastern European klezmer music captures the book. The publisher, BooksBnimble, created a video trailer for Felice's Worlds, with an excerpt of Felice speaking about her past when she was in her seventies, and with pictures of her village on the Polish-Russian border, and her home and art in America. The trailer's klezmer music has snippets of jazz from the 1930s, gypsy rhythms, and Jewish folk melodies. You can access the trailer by going to YouTube, or via the publisher's website, or via the Amazon listing for the book, I believe.
10) If you could write your book again, what would you change?
Felice's Worlds went through three or four drafts, with input from friends and two editors. For the final draft I told myself this time I want to get it right, leave nothing I'm dissatisfied with on the page, say what I want to say, and say it cleanly once a for all. I'm satisfied with what's there.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

*[Blog Tour Review & Giveaway] Death's Dream Kingdom by Jessica Penot

Death's Dream Kingdom
Cera is an ordinary wife and mother who enjoys the simple things in life, until the night she is murdered. In death, Cera finds herself trapped in a shadow land somewhere between the land of the living and the land of the dead, where demons, ghosts, and old gods roam the streets preying on the living. It is up to Cera to find out why the line between the living and the dead is fading and how the rift between worlds can be mended. Pulled into a quest that takes her to hell and back and into the arms of an ancient, demon lover, she finds that she is a child of the Fates and that she alone can challenge death himself for dominion over his kingdom.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 227 pages
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: May 1st 2011
I know, I know two book reviews for two books by the same author back to back? Well I couldn't help but sign up for this tour as well as the Twilight Saint tour as well. In for a penny, in for a pound they always say. Plus, the writing is really good so how could I not sign up?
Once again, I'm really struck by the amount of world building in this novel. If I had to say what the author's major strength is I would honestly have no problem saying that world building is it. Honestly I've rarely found a writer that is as good at it as Jessica is.
I really loved the fact that this was written in a more Gothic fashion. I used to be a fan of the genre when I was younger but I got a bit burnt out by it since I read so many back then and it was nice to get a feel for that in this book.
I did have some issues with Cera because I hated that she was really anal about following rules. You know the type, the goody two shoes, teachers pet, etc, as well as because when she flipped the script and changed in the novel she went the complete opposite and I found it happened so suddenly that it could have been handled a might bit better but I think that's just me being picky.
I liked the whole plot and thought that the different twists and turns were great, and the character interactions were great and the relationships in the book were good as well. I really liked Arawyn because of how he dealt with Cera they seemed like a wonderful match to me and I loved the romance between them.
Overall this book was a really good read. It was fast paced and I love how Jessica was able to bundle so many genres together and create this book. There's a little something for everyone in this book and I hope more people decide to read it and check out Jessica's books she's a really talented writer and I'm eagerly anticipating the next time I can read and review one of her books.
I would probably recommend this to paranormal lovers mostly because of all the paranormal elements in the book but I think it would work as a great read for fantasy lovers and mythology lovers as well but be prepared because this book is a little on the heavy side sometimes but not to worry Jessica made sure to balance it equally with lighter parts.
*I received a free copy in exchange for my free and honest review. I was not compensated in any way and all thoughts and opinions expressed therein are my own.

Really Liked It!
★ ★ ★★

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To visit Jessica's Website CLICK HERE

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To purchase the book via Amazon CLICK HERE
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Waiting On Wednesday #30

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and is where we can talk about books we are looking forward to being released!

Here's my picks for the week:


As the Collegium council's top sheriff of the southeastern United States, Valeria Banning doesn't just take her job seriously, she takes it personally. So when a notorious traitor wanted by the authorities suddenly risks his life to save hers, she has to wonder why.


As a mage, Griffin is sworn to protect innocents from dark magic, which is how he finds himself fighting side by side with the beautiful Valeria Banning. But when the council finds out the two have been working together, they're both left running for their lives-from the law, the threat of a ghoul takeover, and a possible Collegium mole.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 384 pages
Expected Publication Date: November 6th 2012
Why I'm Waiting:
The plot seems really interesting and I love the cover for this one. I love that there's mages in this one because I feel mages are a bit of an under used market in books lately.
Last Kiss Goodnight (Otherworld Assassin, #1)
The breathtaking first novel in New York Times best selling author Gena Showalter’s new paranormal romance series, Otherworld Assassins, featuring a black ops agent who is captured and enslaved…and the beautiful deaf girl who holds the key to his salvation…


Black ops agent Solomon Judah awakens caged and bound in a twisted zoo where otherworlders are the main attraction. Vika Lukas, the owner’s daughter, is tasked with Solo’s care and feeding. The monster inside him yearns to kill her on sight, even though she holds the key to his escape. But the human side of him realizes the beautiful deaf girl is more than she seems—she’s his.


Vika endures the captives’ taunts and loathing, hoping to keep them alive even if she can’t free them. Only, Solo is different—he protects her. But as hostility turns to forbidden romance, his feelings for her will be used against him…and he’ll be put to a killer test.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 400 pages
Expected Publication Date: December 26th 2012 by Pocket Books  
Why I'm Waiting:
I absolutely love the cover and while I haven't read anything by the author yet I've heard she's great and the book sounds like it's going to be a great read!       
Now, what are YOU waiting for this Wednesday?