Top Ten Tuesday -Back to School with History

Well, it’s that time of year when all the children and educators head back to school. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a back to school freebie.

I will confess, I’m a bit of a nerd. I always enjoyed learning in the classroom. My favorite subject was history and I was often chided for reading ahead in my textbook. Many of my friends complained that history was dull, full of names and dates which meant very little to them. To counter that opinion I am sharing my favorite novels set during various times with stories that make make history come alive. For more information on the titles, clicking on each link will give you a description of the story. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Back to School with History”

Top Ten Tuesday -Book Recommendations for Arm Chair Travelers

Aside from reading one of my grand passions in life is travel. I love exploring other countries and cultures. However, in the last several years I haven’t been able to travel as much as I would like for various reasons. Luckily for me, I can still experience the world through my arm chair travels and so can you.

For today’s theme from The Broke and The Bookish  I’ve chosen books which feature settings from around the world. I’ve tried to feature more contemporary than historical books, to mimic what the current geography and culture of these countries would be if you were physically there. But since historical fiction is my jam, some of those titles have slipped in. Click on the title for more information on each story.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Book Recommendations for Arm Chair Travelers”

Book Review -The Mark of the King

SUMMARY

The year is 1720. In Mark of the King French midwife Julianne finds herself unjustly convicted of murder. Branded and married off to a fellow convict, she is shipped off to the primitive French outpost of New Orleans, where a delicate balance exists between the natives and the settlers.

One ray of hope in her exile is Julianne’s hope of finding her brother, a soldier who had been sent with the army to New Orleans. Another silver lining is the French military officer Marc-Paul who takes a special interest in making sure she is protected in a colony where she is marked as a criminal.

But conditions in New Orleans are difficult at best. Tensions run high with the threat of starvation and war ever present.  Will Julianne find the answers she seek? Will she ever overcome the king’s brand marking her as a criminal?

Continue reading “Book Review -The Mark of the King”

Book Review -From Sand and Ash

SUMMARY

When young Angelo’s mother dies, his father sends him to live with his grandparents in Italy who are employed by a wealthy Jewish businessman. Still grieving, Angelo is befriended by the precocious daughter of the house, Eva Roselli. Eva and Angelo grow up together much like a brother and sister, but they both know the feelings between them run deeper. However, Angelo is determined to be a priest and Eva is set on a path to be an accomplished violinist, so despite occasionally betraying their feelings for one another, they each pursue their chosen vocations.

Everything changes when WWII breaks out and Italy allies itself with Germany. Angelo’s duty to God and the priesthood are challenged by his mission to keep not only his beloved Eva safe, but also their shared loved ones. Things only become more complicated when they both get involved in the Italian underground working to save and rescue Italy’s Jewish population. Continue reading “Book Review -From Sand and Ash”

Book Review -The Mutual Admiration Society

The Mutual Admiration Society Synopsis

When eleven year old Theresa “Tessie” Finley watches her father drown, she determines to redeem herself and to honor her father’s memory by becoming the emotional caretaker and guardian of her younger mentally handicapped sister Birdie. Their mother hides her grief and immediately starts dating a man with hopes of marrying him but Tessie does not trust her mother and detests her new boyfriend.

She also names herself president of The Mutual Admiration Society, a group consisting of herself, Birdie and Tessie’s wannabe boyfriend Charlie. The group’s purpose is to either solve crime or use it to blackmail  others as a way of earning money in case Tessie must take Birdie and run away from home for their own safety.

When Tessie witnesses what she believes is a murder in the cemetery behind her home, she must use all of her wiles to solve the crime while also dodging her mother and their evil next door neighbor lady.

Personal Review

The Mutual Admiration Society was an unusual read for me due to it’s setting and subject matter. It is a coming of age story set in a blue collar neighborhood of Milwaukee in the 1950’s. Continue reading “Book Review -The Mutual Admiration Society”

Favorite Historical Fiction Series

Since historical (romance) fiction is my favorite genre, today I’m sharing a list of my favorite series in this genre. Some of these are long-time favorites some are newer. The list may seem a bit long, but believe me, I got it as short as I could. I can’t help that there are so many good stories out there. So without further ado…

BIBLICAL HISTORICALS

The Reluctant Demon Diaries by Linda Rios Brooks -tells the events of the Bible from the perspective of a demon longing for redemption.

Harvest Series by Tessa Afshar -not technically a series, but I love this book and it’s sequel which tells the story of the biblical Nehemiah’s fictional female cousin who finds herself married to a Persian prince when all she wants is to be a scribe. Continue reading “Favorite Historical Fiction Series”

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

As an avid reader I have an exorbitantly large TBR pile of books which have already been released that I plan to read. I think this list is now in the hundreds, but I don’t let that stop me from also having a list of as yet unreleased books which I desperately want to add to that pile.

Here is my partial list for 2017:

The Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden -This debut book by a new author has a contemporary story that sounds interesting. Plus, I love the cover. Continue reading “Most Anticipated Books of 2017”