Upcoming #Book Reviews Historical Novels Review

Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been posting as much lately. That’s because it was deadline time for my most recent reviews for Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. These reviews were for the August edition, and I reviewed 13 books this time. I cannot share them online until after they are published on August 1st, but I wanted to share with you the covers, links, and Amazon book descriptions for some of the books I’ve been reviewing. I cannot give my opinion at all at this time on these particular books, but I will definitely be sharing them on August 1st.

AMAZON BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Germany 1940. As secretary to Himmler, the leader of the SS, Magda spends her days sending party invitations to high-ranking Nazis, and her evenings distributing pamphlets for the resistance. But Magda is leading a dangerous double life, smuggling secrets out of the office. It’s a deadly game, and eventual exposure is a certainty, but Magda is driven by a need to keep the man she secretly loves safe as he fights against the Nazis…

Forty years later.Nina’s heart pounds as she steps into an uncertain future carrying a forged passport, a few bank notes, and a scribbled address for The Tower House taken from an intricate drawing she found hidden in her grandmother’s wardrobe. Separated from her family and betrayed by her country, Nina’s last hope is to trace her family’s history in the ruins of the past her grandmother ran from. But, when she finally finds the abandoned house, she opens the door to a forgotten story, and to secrets which will change everything: past, present, and future…

LINK TO BUY THE SECRETARY

AMAZON BOOK DESCRIPTION

Trudy can’t escape the Bickerstaffs. One by one they invade the Avalon until death intervenes.

Old Mr Bickerstaff, recovering slowly from a stroke, moves into Miss Harriet’s old room at the Avalon hotel. His family, inheritance in mind, demands his immediate return home. His grandson Jeremy is not prepared to wait – he wants his money now. His accident – was it an accident? Or did one of Mr Bickerstaff’s closest associates give him a push? And why is it so important that old Mr B should return home?

Mr B’s decision to move into the care of Alice and Trudy puts him in the middle of the Avalon crew – especially Mrs Shand, whose obsession with the aristocracy hides her secret. But his family can’t leave him to settle in peacefully. His wife, his sons, his daughter-in-law demand his return with tears, threats, hysteria. His grandsons, future lawyers all according to Grandmamma, confront him with their own drama. But then Perry arrives, not interested in the Bickerstaffs, their money or in becoming a lawyer. But he looks so much like the young Bickerstaff men…

LINK TO BUY THE PROBABLE SON

AMAZON BOOK DESCRIPTION

Restless with the familiarity of her Alabama home, Ellie Fields accepts a teaching job in a tiny Louisiana town deep in bayou country. Though rightfully suspicious of outsiders, who have threatened both their language and their culture, most of the people in tiny Bernadette, Louisiana, come to appreciate the young and idealistic schoolteacher as a boon to the town. She’s soon teaching just about everyone–and coming up against opposition from both the school board and a politician with ulterior motives.

Acclimating to a whole new world, Ellie meets a lonely but intriguing Cajun fisherman named Raphe who introduces her to the legendary white alligator that haunts these waters. Raphe and Ellie have barely found their way to each other when a huge bounty is offered for the elusive gator, bringing about a shocking turn of events that will test their love and their will to right a terrible wrong.

LINK TO BUY UNDER THE BAYOU MOON

I can’t wait to share my reviews of these books and more! Now that that’s done, back to my huge TBR pile and more reviews to come tomorrow.

#Book Review: My Name is Cain

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Mother Evelyn needs to solve a major problem, and Hannah, a young nun fresh out of college, is the one for the job. Joining the Inner Circle of the Abbey of St. Margaret is an eye-opener for Hannah, to say the least. Travel with Hannah and her Vatican Intelligence cohorts on a roller-coaster ride around the world as she discovers many secrets including . . .Did Cain ever die? The death of one of the prime characters in Genesis was never mentioned. Is he still alive?Who are the Elohim? How is Mother Evelyn always prepared for what is going to happen?Journey into a genre rarely touched—Christian science fiction

#BOOK REVIEW

My only comment prior to the review below is a question. Am I allowed to use the word “badass” in a Christian book review? Because I did.

This surprising novel starts out with a group of nuns in an abbey, and the reader has no idea they are about to enter a world of intrigue, spies, aliens, extrasensory powers, space travel, and cyber technology. Biblical characters, scriptures, prophecies, and events are woven through it all. The author keeps us in suspense as he expertly unveils one surprise after another. I was absolutely kept on the edge of my seat as a group of nuns revealed themselves to be badass operatives, bent on saving the human race. This book is so imaginative and well written that I was completely riveted to each page. The characters are complex and layered, and the layers are slowly peeled off as they reveal their true identities. The plot is so creative and the story itself is fast paced and hurtles forward to a shocking conclusion. There appears to be plenty of opening for a sequel, and I sincerely hope we get one. Fans of Christian fiction, Science fiction, Thrillers, and the Paranormal will enjoy this enticing, multi-faceted thriller mashup. In this well-written, imaginative novel, Dean Sparks shows us that Christian fiction can be bold, exciting, astonishing, and unexpected.  

I received a free copy of this book via Reedsy Discovery. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dean Sparks is first and foremost a Christian. He loves his wife abundantly. Four of his children, all daughters, were born in one year! Dean is thrilled to be a father and grandfather to the family’s six children and five grandchildren. He loves his job as a Chick-fil-A franchisee and has been with Chick-fil-A since 1978. Dean is an out-of-the-box thinker who is worth reading. You can contact him at authordeansparks.com or via e-mail at dean.sparks@authordeansparks.com.

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#Book Review: Local Woman Missing

Shelby Tebow goes missing while out on a run. Soon after, a mother, Meredith, is found dead and her daughter Delilah has disappeared. Eleven years later, a young girl escapes from a basement prison. Who is she? Does it all tie together?

This is a heartrending thriller by Mary Kubica. It is full of twists and turns and will keep you guessing until the end. The story is told from several points of view, which can be unsettling at times. There are some occurrences which seem a little unrealistic, but overall this is a riveting, captivating story. Three and a half stars, rounded up to four on sites with no half-star option.

I received a free copy of this book from Harlequin (Park Row Books) via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many novels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. Mary lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children

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#Book Review and #Blog Tour: Time Ripper

*Book Review at the bottom of the page.

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TimeRipper

Welcome to the book tour for time-travelling, sci-fi, TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey! Read on for more details and a chance to win an amazing giveaway– A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

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Publication Date: February 25th, 2021

Genre: Time Travel/ Thriller/ Historical Fiction/ Sci-Fi

Publisher: Dammaged Productions

It is the year 2288, and Earth is reeling from the most horrific terrorist attack it has ever endured.The Quest, a pseudo-religious splinter group, have taken a stance against the Earth Alliance’s authority of the planet.It is down to Youssef Haseem, now the highest-ranking official left in the EA, to build a team to face the threat of total inhalation if he doesn’t stand down and bow to The Quest’s demands. Then the leaders of The Quest disappear, and a legend emerges in the year 1888. But just who is the mysterious stranger stalking and viciously killing women on the streets of Whitechapel, London?A mission is launched! A battle of wits against time itself. A fight to be played out in the present and the past, with the fate of humanity at stake.Legends can happen anytime…

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About the Author

Author Photo

My name is David McCluskey, I am an author from Liverpool in the UK. I have written seven novels so far. TimeRipper is my latest. I started writing about 15 years ago, beginning with short horror stories for children that were written in rhyme. I enlisted the services of an artist and created my very first comic from them. Interesting Tymes is a great seller at comic conventions around the UK, as it offered something that a lot of comics these days don’t, something for the children to get their teeth into (so to speak).

I then began to create more comics, some for children, some for adults, before creating my own graphic novels. Doppelgänger is a dark psychological horror, Olf is a children’s graphic novel about Father Christmas and his reindeer, A Christmas Carol is a rewriting of the original tale, but in rhyme, and DeathDay Presents is an adult comedy based in Hell.

From there I moved on to writing novels. My debut novel The Twelve is still my best seller on Amazon.

I write under the name of D E McCluskey for my adult fiction, and I will be launching a children’s range of novels this year under the name Dave McCluskey (I don’t want children buying some of the other horror based stuff by accident).

I still live in Liverpool with my partner, Lauren, and our children, Grace and Sian. We have a sausage dog called Ted, who likes to leave little sausages around the house, just to remind us why he is a sausage dog.

Dammaged | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Giveaway: A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

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Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

BOOK REVIEW

This is a time traveling thriller that fans of science fiction will enjoy. Time travel novels are near and dear to my heart, and I’ve read a lot of them. The means of travel is very important in time travel fiction and to me as a reader. This book leans heavily on the scientific rather than fantasy approach to time travel, and the author makes it work. The Higgs Boson particle plays a big part. The timeline splits between 2288 and 1888 in Whitechapel, East London, as Jack the Ripper make an appearance. There is a completely new theory as to who Jack might be, but that is just part of the story, as there is a battle for the future of Earth between the Earth Alliance in 2288 and a strange movement called The Quest, who are in Whitechapel 1888 trying to change the future.

Fans of science fiction, murder mysteries, and thrillers should check out this gripping, time-traveling mashup.

I received a free copy of this book via R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary.

#Book Review: A Peculiar Combination

A Peculiar Combination was one of my favorites of all the books I read for the May edition of Historical Novels Review. They also made this book an “Editor’s Choice.” It’s a great read and the start of a new series.

A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver is the first book in the new Electra McDonnell series, which is set in World War II England. Electra (Ellie) belongs to a family of thieves.   Her Uncle Mick is a master safecracker, and she and her cousins, Toby and Colm, have learned everything they know from him. With Toby and Colm off fighting in the war, it is up to Ellie and Uncle Mick to keep supporting the family. When a house robbery goes bad, Ellie finds herself working for a government official, Major Ramsey, in order to keep herself and Uncle Mick out of jail. Their first mission leads to more as it becomes clear a traitor is at work and German spies are involved.

This is an engaging and addictive historical thriller with a touch of romance. I immediately connected with these characters, especially Ellie and Uncle Mick. Ellie is an intriguing and complex individual. She is a thief and safecracker, but has also been to finishing school. She can operate in any level of society, which makes her a perfect thief and a perfect spy. Uncle Mick is a locksmith by day and safecracker by night, but he has a moral code, even as a thief, that he will not break. He has passed that code onto Ellie.    Ellie’s missions into high society with the Major are thrilling and fun to watch. They are a reminder that World War II was also fought silently by spies on both sides.   Fans of historical thrillers and strong female characters are going to love this World War II spy adventure.  Highly recommend.

I received a free copy of this book from Minotaur Books for review in Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are voluntary and are my own.

Ashley Weaver

ASHLEY WEAVER is the Technical Services Coordinator for the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She lives in Oakdale, Louisiana. She is the author of the Amory Ames series and the new Electra McDonnell series.

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Book Review: A Distant Shore by Karen Kingsbury

BOOK REVIEW

Lizzie James is just 8 years old when she is told her mother and brother have drowned. She is taken to her father’s “palace” in Belize and her name is changed to Eliza. She soon learns her father is in the sex trade and trafficks young girls. She is always told she is being saved for “something special,” which turns out to be a forced marriage with another drug and sex trafficking family. Then an FBI agent enters her life, someone she has met before, although she does not remember him, and he does not realize she is a child he rescued from drowning the same day his brother died.

I have read many books by Karen Kingsbury, but this one goes to a whole new level as it exposes the horrors of the sex trafficking industry. The characters are well written and the despair of Eliza and the younger girls is palpable and real. Kingsbury shows us the depths of evil in the sex trafficking industry, the laws that sometimes hinder rescued victims from surviving even after escape, and the hearts of the people in and out of law enforcement determined to rescue every single child. She shows us how God is present, even in desperate, cruel, and wicked situations from which there seems no escape. This is a well researched novel that everyone needs to read in order to know the evils that exist in our world.

I received a free copy of this book from Atria Books via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

A Distant Shore will be released on April 27, 2021.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development with Hallmark Films and as major motion pictures. Her Baxter Family books are being developed into a TV series slated for major network viewing sometime in the next year. Karen is also an adjunct professor of writing at Liberty University. In 2001 she and her husband, Don, adopted three boys from Haiti, doubling their family in a matter of months. Today the couple has joined the ranks of empty-nesters, living in Tennessee near five of their adult children.


WEBSITE: https://www.karenkingsbury.com

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Book Review–The Best Thing You Can Steal

The Best Thing You Can Steal takes place in the magical underworld of modern London, much like Harry Potter. However, this is an adult story with a darker bend. The protagonist is Gideon Sable, a thief and con-artist, who apparently is not the actual Gideon Sable, but another thief using his identity. He is determined to pull off an elaborate heist and take down an evil collector of rare magical items, Fredric Hammer. Gideon is accompanied by his ex-girlfriend Annie Anybody, who can charm technology, the Damned, who has killed angels and wears their halos, Johnny Wild Card, who knows the truth of reality, and the Ghost, who has long haunted the streets of London. They’ve all been wronged by the collector, who has ruined many lives, and they all have their reason to want revenge. 

This is magical realism done well, as we are introduced to each member of the specially selected team, told about their story and their magical gifts, and told the reason why they want revenge on Hammer. The character development is superb. Every single member of the heist team is fascinating, and magical London is dark and intriguing. In some sense we are kept much in the dark about the narrator, which makes this even more delicious. This is a short but compelling read about magical revenge that will leave you wanting more. 

NOTE: I feel I must caution readers that although the book is 183 pages, the e-book version is priced at $19.49 on Kindle. I feel it’s way overpriced for an e-book and would probably think about spending $28.99 on the hard cover version instead. I will provide links to both below.

I received a free copy of this book from Severn House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simon R. Green is a British science fiction and fantasy author. Green was born in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. He holds a degree in Modern English and American Literature from the University of Leicester. He is the author of the best-selling Nightside series and many other works.

AUTHOR PAGE ON SEVERN HOUSE WEBSITE

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Amazon Kindle version

Amazon Hardcover version

Barnes and Noble Hardcover version

MY AMAZON REVIEW (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

Book Review: The Devil Whispered

In the near future United States, Retired Special Forces Commander Jacobi Slate is investigating a brutal murder committed by his former boss, Admiral Ben Oaksley, who has admittedly killed his beloved wife, Mary. As Slate’s investigation continues and more strange murders occur, he begins to suspect that this is tied to his past and that someone in the background is pulling the strings.

This is a thrilling cyberpunk detective noir story with well developed characters and an intriguing premise. It shows a future America even more enmeshed in technology and describes what could be the results of that. I liked the first-person detective noir approach as told through the eyes of a veteran of many wars. This is not your traditional detective noir, as there is a strong female main character, Risa, who definitely proved herself tougher than any of the others, even our protagonist. As indicative of the noir genre, the lines between right and wrong are blurred and the protagonist is well meaning but flawed. The cyberpunk element is crucial as we see technology becoming more and more enmeshed into human life. This is an action-packed novel with revelations that are eye-opening and thought provoking.

I would recommend this to any fans of the the cyberpunk and detective noir genres.

This was another great book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can borrow it for free. It is also available to purchase outright for only 99 cents at the link below.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Starkweather

Shawn lives in Massachusetts with his wife and the handful of childhood stuffed animals that they’ve been unable to part ways with, even despite the awkward situation in which it occasionally puts their house guests. He wields a coveted Associates of Liberal Arts degree from Greenfield Community College in an overly enthusiastic, flailing manner, and puts it to work writing both fantasy and science fiction stories. Using subliminal codes and hidden messaging carefully placed throughout his books, he plans to captivate the minds of his readers and insidiously manipulate them into purchasing subsequent releases. 

As a novelist, musician, graphic designer, and a purveyor of fine games, Shawn is often confused about exactly who he is when he wakes up in the morning. It’s been said (by him) that perhaps he embodies all of these things so equally that a singular definition could not comprehensively impart a satisfactory description. With your support, and a sufficient demand for more novels, he secretly hopes that he’ll have no choice but to formally acknowledge the prevailing label of ‘author’ and spend the rest of his days providing a sense of wonder and adventure to everyone who helped him solidify his nebulous identity.

Shawn’s Website

Accusing Mr. Darcy

Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet both find themselves guests of the Kendall Family at a month-long house party in a grand estate in Derbyshire.  Elizabeth is implored to attend by her cousin Rose Kendall, and Darcy is a friend of Rose’s husband Nicholas.  Darcy is immediately captivated by Elizabeth, but knows he is expected to marry a woman of greater means.  When a murder occurs on a neighboring estate, and then one of the Kendall’s guests is attacked, the evidence appears stacked against Mr. Darcy.  Will Elizabeth listen to the murmurings against Mr. Darcy, or will she rally to his side?

This is a compelling take on Pride and Prejudice, combining the classic love story with a murder mystery in a new and different setting. Not all of the original characters make an appearance in this variation, but the characters presented are interesting and well developed. This is not a typical Pride and Prejudice variation, but the attraction between Elizabeth and Darcy is palpable, and the conflict between them is well done. The addition of the murder mystery takes this variation to a new level. Miller has an amazing ability to create a fascinating but horrifying villain and provides a back story for the murderer that is chilling and captivating.

Fans of both historical romance and mysteries will enjoy this new take on a time-honored love story.

I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited, where KU subscribers can borrow the book for free.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Miller

Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets. A Constant Love is her fourth book published by Meryton Press. The first three are novels: Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy; Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic variation; and Accusing Mr. Darcy, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic mystery. Kelly’s blog page is found at http://kellymiller.merytonpress.com, her Twitter handle is @kellyrei007, Instagram: http://kelly.miller.author, and she is on Facebook: http://facebook.Author.Kelly.Miller

NEW RELEASE

Kelly has a new novella that has just been released. It is called A Consuming Love: A Pride and Prejudice Variation. The Amazon Description is below:

The methodical world of rich, proud Fitzwilliam Darcy is in chaos: a country lady of modest origins has utterly captivated him.

The knowledge that Elizabeth Bennet is an unsuitable match fails to diminish Darcy’s fascination for her, nor does his self-imposed distance from the lady hinder her ability to intrude upon his thoughts at all hours of the day. What can solve his dilemma?

When circumstances compel Darcy’s return to Hertfordshire in assistance of his friend Mr. Bingley, he must confront his unfathomable attraction to Miss Elizabeth.

In this “Pride & Prejudice” Regency novella, one afternoon spent in company with Miss Elizabeth Bennet is enough to make an indelible and life-altering impression upon Darcy, setting him on a rocky course towards the fulfillment of his desires. Will Darcy attain happiness, or will his ingrained pride be his downfall?

A Consuming Love is only $3.99 on Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited subscribers can borrow it for free. Link

The Milk Wagon

I was hooked when I read this book by Michael Hewes and I find it to be an unsung gem! One of my goals with this blog is to help newer or lesser known authors (and self published authors) promote their work to others who might not otherwise see it. This fantastic book swept me right back into the 1980’s, when I was a teenager, and it was a great ride. See my review below:

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The Milk Wagon is a fantastic thriller set in the 80’s, much of it revolving around a group of high school boys. As an 80’s high schooler myself, this was a wonderful walk down memory lane. This book has the 80’s high school mentality exactly right, and transported me back there as the movies we watched, the cars we drove, and the way we thought were so accurately described. 

This novel was perfectly woven together as both an 80’s book and a crime/murder thriller. There were many twists and turns, and although I am usually pretty good at guessing the “bad guy,” i was totally wrong this time. The fact that this book was not predictable impressed me. 

The characters are so well done, especially the 80s high school kids, that I was sad when it ended. That’s how you tell a great book. You don’t want it to end.

If you love crime thrillers, if you loved the 80s, or if you just love a well written book, check this one out.

I received a free copy of this book from Michael Hewes and BooksGoSocial via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

Link to the book on Amazon:

Link to other work by Michael Hewes:

Link to my Goodreads review (Like and Follow if you are so inclined):