Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Prince's Doom Spotlight and Excerpt

02_The Prince's Doom
ABookGeek is happy to be one of the stops for The Prince's Doom blog tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

The Prince's Doom by David Blixt
Publication Date: December 23, 2014
Sordelet Ink
Paperback; 722p
ISBN: 0615894437
Series: Book Four, Star Cross'd Series
Genre: Historical Fiction

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READ AN EXCERPT.

The long-awaited explosive fourth novel in the Star-Cross'd series! Verona has won its war with Padua, but lost its war with the stars. The young prodigy Cesco now turns his troubled brilliance to darker purposes, embracing a riotous life and challenging not only the lord of Verona and the Church, but the stars themselves. Trying desperately to salvage what's left of his spirit, for once Pietro Alaghieri welcomes the plots and intrigues of the Veronese court, hoping they will shake the young man out of his torpor. But when the first body falls, it becomes clear that this new game is deadly, one that will doom them all.

Praise for David Blixt

'For anyone who has yet to read David's novels, you are about to hit the literary lottery. Yes, he's that good.' --Sharon Kay Penman, The Sunne In Splendour

'David Blixt is a master of historical fiction. Dramatic, vivid, superbly researched, this series captures Renaissance Italy in all its heady glamour and lethal intrigue.' --C.W. Gortner, The Tudor Conspiracy

'This is one of the most exciting, and satisfying, reads that I have immersed myself in for a long time. David Blixt is a gem of a writer.' --Helen Hollick, The Pendragon Chronicles

The Star Cross'd Series

Based on the plays of William Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, and the history of Italy, the Star-Cross'd Series is a tale of wars won, friendships lost, and conspiracies both mortal and stellar, an epic journey into the birth of the Renaissance that recalls the best of Bernard Cornwell and Dorothy Dunnett.

Titles in the Star Cross'd Series

Book One: Master of Verona
Book Two: Voice of the Falconer
Book Three: Fortune's Fool
Book Four: The Prince's Doom



~~~~~~~~EXCERPT from The Prince's Doom ~~~~~~~~~

“Otto! I didn’t know you were in these parts!”
“Good to see you, my lord,” said Otto, rising to bow gravely.
“Good to be seen,” answered Cesco brightly. “But you must call me Ser François now – it is François in Burgundy, yes? – and remove your hat.”
Otto’s mouth twitched. “If you want my hat, take it.”
“Would that I could, but I’d be afraid of frosting your hair with snow when you departed. I cause too many grey hairs already.” Cesco’s eyes darted between Cangrande and the Burgundian. “Dare I ask the news?”
“What do you not dare?” growled Bailardino.
Otto answered in an even tone. “Nothing of war. I am only a messenger.”
“Nothing of war? Then how are your men to keep their skills sharp? I shall have to visit the camp and put them through their paces.”
“You would be most welcome, Ser François,” said Otto. “If only to allow Yuri and Fabio time to recover from their respite in town. Fabio’s arm cannot carry a shield for at least a month.”
“Indeed, François,” interjected Cangrande, “your sport seems more dangerous than my wars.”
“Because my sport has higher stakes.”
Otto was not unaware of the daggers in the counter-talk, but did not mind placing his body between the sharpened edges. “Speaking of sport, my young lord, our last hunt has become legendary. Morando Bevilaqua still talks of how your arrow jostled his on the way towards the hart. He says you owe him a chance to regain his honour at the hunt.”
“He wants to take my honour? What am I, a maid?”
“A lord with the wiles of a virtuous maid in an armed camp.”
“In your camp, that’s a wily maid indeed. Well, tell Bevilaqua I shall come, and he can attempt to take my maidenhead.” Even the impassive Otto could not restrain himself from laughing aloud, while Cangrande drank deeply and Bail scowled.
“Pardon, Nuncle.” Crossing past Pietro to the octagonal table, Cesco helped himself to a goblet of wine and poured himself languidly into another chair, exactly matching the Scaliger’s pose. “I take it Otto’s news is dire. Has he had a better offer? If not, can I make one?”
“You cannot afford me,” said Otto.
Cangrande offered a grimacing smile. “Otto knows to whom his loyalty is owed. No, it’s Tempesta. He’s on his way here with a flag of truce, in the company of your cyclopean friend.”
Cesco frowned. “Tharwat? Is that where he’s gone?”
Pietro blanched, but Cangrande clarified at once. “Berthold. Though you’re right, we seem to be collecting one-eyed acquaintances. Is it a statement on the myopia of our enemies? Their lack of vision?”
“I thought Tharwat’s latest affliction was more an ironic expression of Divine Will. He’s been peering into the future so long, he was bound to lose an eye. Our own Tiresias, or at least half of one. Blind who now has eyes, beggar who now is rich, he will grope his way toward a foreign soil, a stick tapping before him step by step.’ But not even Sophocles tortured the ears of his hearers with such a voice!”
Cangrande laughed even as he shook his head. “I’m a terrible person. Or you are. You see what this means?”
“That Ludwig is trying to out-maneuver you?” said Cesco in a bored voice. “Yes, it’s obvious. Tap tap tap. Tempesta comes here under safe-conduct with the Emperor, whom you cannot defy, and declares his independence. Berthold allows you two to wrangle with each other, then steps in with the stunning hammer. He forces Tempesta to submit, not to you but direct to Ludwig. You’re granted Treviso not through feat of arms but by Ludwig’s good will. You’ll have your title, but in a manner that robs you of the victory. I had no idea the Pax Verona bothered him so much.”
“That, at least, is gratifying,” admitted Cangrande. “He sees me as important enough to keep down.”
“He needs Verona,” said Cesco. “But he does not trust you. I’d say not to take it personally, but it’s personal. You’re far too skilled at wielding power for him to feel easy giving you any more. Which, I imagine, is why Rupert ingratiates himself with me. I am wooed from all corners. Except this one.”
“That’s the trick of wooing,” said Cangrande. “Make the wooed come to you, and then there is no question of consent.”
“I know that trick. And Ludwig does as well, that much I know. He will make any power unpalatable to you, but leave it there for future generations that are more pliable.”
“Shall I just step aside now?” asked Cangrande in grand fashion, rising and offering his seat. “Or do you want it all baked into a proper cake first?”
“You must be drunk,” replied Cesco dismissively. “Why would I want your duties? Remember, I’m the irresponsible one. Let me enjoy the last of my minority. When I’m a man, I’ll shoulder a man’s burdens. Besides, when have I ever been called pliable?”
Cangrande studied his heir. “Six months of idleness, and then what?”
Cesco quaffed the last of his wine. “Then Treviso.”
“And after that?”
“What, should I angle to lose an eye as well? Who knows what the future holds? There’s been too much scrying and spying, crying and plying. Indulge your enemies. But if it makes you less uneasy, Pater, when Tempesta comes I will remove myself. Otto, I accept your invitation. My Rakehells – how I like that name! – will sojourn at your camp.”
Cangrande frowned. “Taking Rupert with you? What if I desire you both to remain here and blunt Berthold?”
Slapping his hands on his thighs, Cesco leapt up. “Federigo! Padua! The very ground under our feet! Must I do everything?” With that he stalked from the office without a glance for either Pietro or Bailardino, both of whom were frowning, if for different reasons. Only Pietro followed him.
Cangrande made to pour himself another drink. Before it reached his lips, a phrase the boy had uttered bubbled to the surface of his brain. He smiled. “Indulge your enemies. I’ll think I shall do just that. When is Tempesta arriving?”
“A week, I think. San Pompeius’ Day, or thereabouts.”
“Pompeius. Fitting for a pompous puss like Tempesta. Tullio, tell those musicians to gather their fellow performers. They’ll not lament their ill-usage by Verona’s knights after this. How does Petruchio put it? I shall kill them with kindness.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





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About the Author

03_David Blixt AuthorAuthor and playwright David Blixt's work is consistently described as "intricate," "taut," and "breathtaking." A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS'D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, FORTUNE'S FOOL, and THE PRINCE?S DOOM) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY'S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. As the Historical Novel Society said, "Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It's well worth it." Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as "actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order."

For more information please visit David Blixt's website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Prince's Doom Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 16
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, March 18
Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, March 19
Excerpt at Becky on Books

Friday, March 20
Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book

Saturday, March 21
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Monday, March 23
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks

Tuesday, March 24
Guest Post & Giveaway at Griperang's Bookmarks

Wednesday, March 25
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Spotlight & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, March 27
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Monday, March 30
Excerpt at Buried Under Books

Tuesday, March 31
Spotlight at A Book Geek

Wednesday, April 1
Excerpt & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, April 2
Review at Quirky Book Reviews
Guest Post at Books and Benches

Friday, April 3
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Sudetenland Spotlight

Please join George T. Chronis as he tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Sudetenland, from March 16-27.
02_Sudetenland_CoverPublication Date: September 30, 2014
BookBaby
Formats: eBook
ASIN: B00O2T6B9Y
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Sudetenland is the premiere novel by author George T. Chronis. The book delivers suspenseful and sweeping historical fiction set against Central European intrigue during the late 1930s leading up to 1938’s Munich Conference. Having swallowed up Austria, Adolph Hitler now covets Czechoslovakian territory. Only France has the power to stand beside the government in Prague against Germany… but will she? The characters are the smart and sometimes wise-cracking men and women of this era – the foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, diplomats and career military – who are on the front lines of that decade’s most dangerous political crisis. If Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš ignores the advice of French premier Édouard Daladier and refuses to give up Bohemian territory willingly, then Hitler orders that it be taken by force. The novel takes readers behind the scenes into the deliberations and high drama taking place within major European capitals such as Prague, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and London as the continent hurtles toward the crucible of a shooting war.

Praise for Sudetenland

“Chronis impresses with such a challenging and intriguing debut effort, well written, impeccably researched.” — Melinda, Unshelfish
“Anyone that is looking for a thorough and rewarding read will enjoy Sudetenland.” — Diana, BookNerd
“The plot moves quickly along keeping you intrigued with well defined characters and great imagery to help immerse yourself in the story… I adored the way George managed to weave together the tragedy of war, depression and politics with romance, love and hope.” — Jennifer, pirategrl1014

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Excerpt~~~~~~~~~~~

So this was how it was to be. Abandoned like a faithful spouse to the vagaries of a cheating scoundrel. Despite all of the warning signs and the advice of good friends, the fleeting hope that the one who you had invested so much history with would not betray that which had taken so long to build, was dashed. What Masaryk had said on the phone was right: screw them!
Štefan Osušky could not remember when he had felt so embittered. The Franco-Czechoslovak Pact was dead. It had been dying for months through the long summer. For the last hour Bonnet had hammered the death certificate onto a public wall. Osušky had been summoned to the Quai d'Orsay to meet with the French foreign minister. Daladier and his cabinet ministers had been meeting since ten-thirty in the morning at the Élysée Palace to approve or reject the Anglo-French plan that Daladier had crawled back to Paris with from London. When they had finished, Osušky was to be waiting at Bonnet's office to hear the results. No audience with the premier was available.
Osušky held no illusions as to what Chamberlain had proposed to Daladier. The newspapers had been shockingly detailed in their presentation of the expected major points. So many leaks to such a plethora of reporters usually suggested a raison d'être behind the disclosures. Osušky calculated there was a chance those ministers in Daladier's cabinet that opposed ceding Czech territory to Hitler might be setting the stage for an uprising against Chamberlain's cravenly acquiescence to the dictator… but a very small chance.
When Bonnet arrived back from Élysée Palace he got right to the point. Daladier's cabinet had unanimously approved the Anglo-French plan. As Bonnet read off the terms it was just as the press reports had purported. The only difference was that Bonnet had the full list while most of the newspapers lacked one component or another. The next hour was a blistering back and forth between the two diplomats. Osušky reminded Bonnet of the last two years of French assurances, to which the Frenchman countered the break-up of Czechoslovakia was, the least unpleasant solution. Osušky went on to reiterate the fullness of France's treaty obligations only to be instructed they were mere words on paper. The British had said in no uncertain terms that if Prague refused the Anglo-French plan then Britain would disassociate itself from the dispute. Without British solidarity the assistance that France could offer Czechoslovakia was of no effectiveness. The Czechs would not be allowed to drag France into a war over three-and-a-half million Sudeten Germans. Osušky's further protests only fed Bonnet's burgeoning hostility. France demanded that Czechoslovakia accept the plan. That was the message Osušky was to take to President Beneš without further argument.
There was nothing more to say to such intransigence so Osušky made his leave. Heading down the hall to the main entrance, Osušky felt his own emotions exploding as he replayed Bonnet's words in his head. The ostiary opened the tall, narrow door Osušky had been through so many times in better days and the Czechoslovak envoy stepped out to overlook a courtyard full of anxious correspondents. He couldn't restrain himself.
"Do you want to see a man condemned without a hearing?" Osušky played to the crowd while descending the stairs. "Here I stand!"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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About the Author03_George T. Chronis

After years as a journalist and magazine editor, George T. Chronis decided to return to his lifelong passion, storytelling. A lover of both 1930s cinema and world history, Chronis is now devoted to bringing life to the mid-20th Century fictional narratives that have been in his thoughts for years. Sudetenland© is his first novel. Taking place during turbulent times in Central Europe during the 1930s, the book took eight years to research and write. The author is already hard at work on his second novel.
Chronis is married with two daughters, and lives with his wife in a Southern California mountain community.
For more information please visit the Sudetenland website or George T. Chronis’s website, or follow him onTumblr. Subscribe to George T. Chronis’s newsletter.

Sudetenland Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, March 17
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, March 23
Spotlight & Excerpt at 100 Pages a Day
Tuesday, March 24
Spotlight & Excerpt at The Maiden’s Court
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Wednesday, March 26
Spotlight at Mythical Books
Spotlight & Excerpt at Kinx’s Book Nook
Thursday, March 26
Review at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus
Spotlight & Excerpt at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Spotlight & Excerpt at Seize the Moment
Friday, March 27
Review at Genre Queen
Spotlight & Excerpt at A Book Geek
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stupidparty Blog Tour and Review

Title: Stupidparty Math V. Myth: Unmasking the Destructive Forces Eroding American Democracy
Author: Patrick Andendall
Publisher: Fact Over Fiction Publishing LTD.
Pages: 408
Genre: Politics
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Stupidparty Math v. Myth: Unmasking the Destructive Forces Eroding American Democracy relies on publicly available facts, resources and tools to deconstruct and relentlessly drill down on the numerous misconceptions held by too many Republicans. Substantiated by more than 1,500 hyperlinks to authoritative resources, readers will find:

  • Stupidparty positions defrocked on: the "Moochers", the economy, climate change, environmental stewardship, racism, religion, "Freedoms", guns, and ignorance-based humor.
  • The fallacy of Fox News facts exposed, documented, and explained.

Also included are 1,055 full color images and 121 graphs and charts.
Once thoughtful, discerning Americans understand the destructive forces manipulating their views, they will begin to call for a stop to the stupidity that has invaded our politics and poisoned our political process. The eradication of Stupid from the Stupidparty is the first step.

This book does not set out to destroy the Republican Party. The U.S. needs at least two parties. But by exposing the abundance of Myth with the relentless use of Math and facts, the problems and then the solutions become self-evident.

My Take:
When the opportunity to read and review Stupidparty was presented, I was more than happy to accept. From the title alone I knew it would be right up my alley. Patrick Andenall identifies himself as a conservative and his goal is to save the Republican Party. Well, I say good luck with that. But, this book is a big step in the right direction. The book basically says that Republicans need to stop being afraid of science and history and start being rational thinkers again. 

Andenall provides links, quotes, tweets, photos, graphs, charts, -- just so much information that at times it can be overwhelming and more than a little depressing. More than once while reading the book I thought that it would be a great gift to buy in bulk and send as gifts to very conservative friends and family. However, I decided that they probably wouldn't appreciate the gift -- which is really the problem. The people who really need the information are the least likely to read the book and learn something from it.

Stupidparty was originally an eBook because of all the hyperlinks to articles, and that makes a lot of sense. I read a paperback version of the book, which probably worked out better because if I had read the eBook version, I would have taken so much longer to read it since I would have had to follow all the links and that would take forever. Even without the hyperlinks, there is an abundance of information in the print book. My husband has been complaining about how long it took me to read it as it is. I had to read it in short bursts because of all the stupid presented. As soon as I finish this review I have to give him the book to read. 

I think that most people would benefit from reading Stupidparty. We all need to be willing to confront our own beliefs and see if they hold water. Most liberal leaning people will eat Stupidparty up, but I would really like to see more conservative people read it as well. Even with all the stupid presented in the book, the author keeps a sense of humor and it was a fun read, if at times, somewhat depressing. I am planning to read sections of it again and read even more of the articles linked in the book. I will be recommending Stupidparty to anyone who will listen to me. 



For More Information



Book Excerpt:
Acorn.

Voting is an important civil right, and many argue it is a civic duty. In Australia you must vote. In Belgium you must show up at the polls, but having shown up, you do not have to vote. Over twenty countries have some form of mandatory voting.

Acorn was an organization devoted to adding voters to the rolls. Acorn often paid homeless people to collect signatures. Thus, it was providing a double public service.

So while on occasion such workers did try and rip off Acorn (using fake signatures to invent nonexistent people) for a few extra dollars, the Acorn organization never created any voter fraud. This may come as a shock to the paranoid conservative brain, but the fact is that nonexistent people cannot vote, not of course unless Jesus decides to rise from the dead (for a second time) in order to vote. Ironically, if one understands anything about Jesus, his likely abhorrence of the Stupidparty and their antics, this must surely be a very tempting option. But like Kerry, Acorn was swiftboated by the Benefactors, i.e., Big Money devoted to an insidious and widespread deception. Big Money wins; the public and its treasured democracy lose. Even after Acorn was hounded out of business, 49% of Stupidparty voters believed that Acorn stole the 2012 election.




About the Author

Patrick Andendall has always had an interest in politics and, being multicultural, he views issues from a more international perspective. In 2004, five days before the election, he flew to Cleveland and pitched in to help with the political process. What he discovered was the dissolution of the American Dream, which he writes about in his book, Stupidparty.

Educated at English boarding schools from the age of seven, Andendall went on to graduate from Lancing College. He started by sometimes working three jobs at once, trainee Underwriter/claim broker at Lloyd's of London, his own one man cleaning Company (cleaning the very offices of a Reinsurance Company he would transact business at) plus doing seasonal work on various farms.

Having made some windfall profits by borrowing money in order to be a "Stag" to take advantage of opportunities created by Margaret Thatcher's de nationalization policies of the mid 1980's, Andendall evolved into an entrepreneur with a core specialty in Reinsurance in London and New York where he looks for patterns in numbers. Self-employed in a field not normally conducive to self-employment, he is able remain in control, juggle different jobs, travel and pursue his various interests.

Ending up in New York via romance in the African bush, Andendall now lives on Long Island with his wife, two children and two dogs.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Tapestry Blog Tour and Review

01_The Tapestry
ABookGeek is happy to be one of the hosts for The Tapestry blog tour today.

The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau
North America & UK Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Touchstone Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Pages: 390
Series: Joanna Stafford, Book Three
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review

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In THE CROWN, Sister Joanna Stafford searched for a Dark Ages relic that could save her priory from Cromwell?s advancing army of destruction. In THE CHALICE, Joanna was drawn into an international conspiracy against Henry VIII himself as she struggled to learn the truth behind a prophecy of his destruction.

Now, in THE TAPESTRY, Joanna Stafford finally chooses her own destiny.

After her Dominican priory in Dartford closed forever-collateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIII?s quest to overthrow the Catholic Church-Joanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving tapestries, shunning dangerous quests and conspiracies. Until she is summoned to Whitehall Palace, where her tapestry weaving has drawn the King?s attention.

Joanna is uncomfortable serving the King, and fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual disregard for the virtues she holds dear. Her suspicions are confirmed when an assassin attempts to kill her moments after arriving at Whitehall.

Struggling to stay ahead of her most formidable enemy yet, an unknown one, she becomes entangled in dangerous court politics. Her dear friend Catherine Howard is rumored to be the King?s mistress. Joanna is determined to protect young, beautiful, na?ve Catherine from becoming the King?s next wife and, possibly, victim.

Set in a world of royal banquets and feasts, tournament jousts, ship voyages, and Tower Hill executions, this thrilling tale finds Joanna in her most dangerous situation yet, as she attempts to decide the life she wants to live: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. Joanna Stafford must finally choose.


My Take:

In the third book in the Joanna Stafford series, The Tapestry, Joanna finally seems to have a better idea what she wants to do with her life. She wants to weave tapestries and raise Arthur, her cousin's son. A quiet, peaceful life full of work and family and prayer is her goal, but things never seem to quite go her way.

Joanna is summoned by the king himself to commission a tapestry. Being summoned by Henry VIII  could be a dangerous thing even in the best of circumstances given his well known temper. Unfortunately Joanna's circumstances couldn't really be considered the best given her past participation in conspiracies against the king. Even though she knows he is unaware of her participation and she failed at her assignment, Joanna is still very uneasy about the summons. As well she should be as it turns out.  Joanna obeys the summons and as soon as she arrives, she is attacked by an unknown man posing as a royal page.

The main mystery is figuring out exactly who among the many possible contenders is the one trying to kill Joanna. So, Joanna tries to navigate the suspicious, uncertain, and dangerous twists and turns of life at Henry VIII's court without making the king angry at her or giving an assassin the chance to kill her.

The reader is treated to much more than just King Henry VIII and his notorious temper and all the maneuvering amongst the members of the court. Through Joanna's conversations with the court painter Hans Holbein and her subsequent travels, the reader learns more about the Protestant Reformation and its consequences throughout Europe, not just England. I really enjoyed getting to see the bigger picture rather than just the English perspective. I also liked all the conspiracies - so many people plotting things and maneuvering family members and anyone they can to push forward their own agenda. It is all quite sordid and complicated. I admit that I enjoyed the process of Joanna gradually working through all the candidates to find the person who was trying to kill her.

As with the other two books in the series, The Crown and The Chalice, I thoroughly enjoyed reading  The Tapestry. I liked that Joanna really seemed to have learned a lot about herself and the world and was better able to navigate the dangers that faced her. She was no longer just following someone else's orders, but was making her own decisions.

I think that anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction about the Tudors, the Protestant Reformation and/or the religious wars of the time and historical fiction in general would enjoy The Tapestry very much.This is one of those books that will appeal to mystery/thriller fans as well, I think. This is a book that I will be recommending to my book club and friends.  Joanna Stafford is a great character and  I really enjoyed getting to follow her as she grew, became wiser about the world and the people around her. I feel like The Tapestry is a good way to wrap up a trilogy, but I am a bit curious about what would happen to her next. I have to add that I loved the covers of all three of the books -- they are just so striking.



Praise for The Tapestry

"Illuminated by Bilyeau's vivid prose, minor players of Tudor England emerge from the shadows." ~Kirkus Reviews

"In THE TAPESTRY, Nancy Bilyeau brilliantly captures both the white-hot religious passions and the brutal politics of Tudor England. It is a rare book that does both so well." ~ Sam Thomas, author of The Midwife's Tale

"In spite of murderous plots, volatile kings, and a divided heart, Joanna Stafford manages to stay true to her noble character. Fans of Ken Follett will devour Nancy Bilyeau?s novel of political treachery and courageous love, set amid the endlessly fascinating Tudor landscape." ~ Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway's Girl

"These aren't your mother's nuns! Nancy Bilyeau has done it again, giving us a compelling and wonderfully realized portrait of Tudor life in all its complexity and wonder. A nun, a tapestry, a page-turning tale of suspense: this is historical mystery at its finest." ~ Bruce Holsinger, author of A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire

"A supremely deft, clever and pacy entertainment. This is Nancy Bilyeau's most thrilling?and enlightening?novel in the Joanna Stafford series yet." ~Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist and The Damned

"A master of atmosphere, Nancy Bilyeau imbues her novel with a sense of dread and oppression lurking behind the royal glamour; in her descriptions and characterizations... Bilyeau breathes life into history." ~Laura Andersen, author of The Boleyn King

Pre-Order/Buy The Tapestry

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound

Nancy BilyeauAbout the Author

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay "Zenobia" placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and "Loving Marys" reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. THE TAPESTRY will be released in March 2015.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Stay in touch with her on Twitter at @tudorscribe. For more information or to sign up for Nancy's Newsletter please visit her official website.

The Tapestry Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 16
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Review & Interview at Words and Peace

Tuesday, March 17
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at The Eclectic Reader
Review at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, March 18
Review at Writing the Renaissance
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, March 19
Review at A Book Geek
Review & Interview at Tea at Trianon
Interview at Writing the Renaissance

Friday, March 20
Review at Impressions in Ink

Monday, March 23
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, March 24
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, March 25
Review at Luxury Reading
Guest Post at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, March 26
Review at She Reads Novels

Friday, March 27
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews

Monday, March 30
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, March 31
Review at The True Book Addict
Guest Post at Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, April 1
Review at Library of Clean Reads
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, April 2
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, April 3
Review at Layered Pages
Review & Guest Post at Always With a Book

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Heroes' Welcome Blog Tour and Review

The Heroes' Welcome
The Heroes' Welcome by Louisa Young
Paperback: 272 pages  
Publisher: Harper Perennial (March 10, 2015)
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours for an honest review
Description:
April 1919. Six months have passed since the armistice that ended the Great War. But new battles face those who have survived.

Only twenty-three, former soldier Riley Purefoy and his bride, Nadine Waveney, have their whole lives ahead of them. But Riley's injuries from the war have created awkward tensions between the couple, damage that threatens to shatter their marriage before it has truly begun.

Peter and Julia Locke are facing their own trauma. Peter has become a recluse, losing himself in drink to forget the horrors of the war. Desperate to reach her husband, Julia tries to soothe his bitterness, but their future together is uncertain.

Drawn together in the aftermath of the war, the two couples' lives become more tightly intertwined, haunted by loss, guilt, and dark memories, contending with uncertainty, anger, and pain. Is love strong enough to help them all move forward?

The Heroes' Welcome is a powerful and intimate novel, chronicling the quiet turbulence of 1919?a year of perilous beginnings, disturbing realities, and glimmerings of hope.




My Take:
When I agreed to read and review The Heroes' Welcome, I didn't know that it was the second book in a proposed trilogy, however, I was still able to enjoy the book without feeling that I was missing too much. There were a few references to past events that made me curious, but I didn't feel that it detracted from the current story.

I thought that The Heroes' Welcome was beautifully written and I was immediately caught up in the lives of Riley and Nadine, Peter and Julia and Rose. Each character has their own problems facing them after the war and each handles them differently. Although Riley is the most physically damaged from the war, he seems to be better able to cope with the haunting memories, the nightmares and the way people look at him with his damaged face. Despite the obstacles, he seems determined to live his own life. Fortunately for him, Riley has Nadine to walk beside him on this difficult road to recovery and a new life. Nadine and Riley have to deal with their own hesitancy within their relationship, but they are strong and devoted to each other.

Julia and Peter are the real heartbreaking couple in the novel. Peter isn't severely damaged physically, but his emotional wounds are formidable. He doesn't know how to cope with his own pain, so he certainly isn't equipped to help his wife, Julia. Poor Julia seems so fragile and very wounded. She seems very unsure of her place in the world and in her marriage.

I think one of the things that really struck me about the novel was the way Young was able to describe the delicate and fragile nature of these relationships and yet the bonds of friendship, shared experiences and love were able to prevail, for the most part.

I think that The Heroes' Welcome does an admirable job of portraying one of the most difficult times in our modern history. I did appreciate that the author didn't try to wrap everything up with a nice pretty bow -- that would seen completely unrealistic. Things are messy and uncomfortable - which is to be expected in such circumstances. Even though the book is heartbreaking in many ways, I found it quite beautiful as well. I can enthusiastically recommend The Heroes' Welcome to those readers who enjoy more serious historical fiction, those interested in World War I and its aftermath and those who enjoy books about relationships.





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37025About Louisa Young

Louisa Young was born in London and read history at Trinity College, Cambridge. She lives in London with her daughter, with whom she co-wrote the best-selling Lionboy trilogy, and is the author of eleven previous books including the bestselling novel My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and the Wellcome Book Prize, a Richard and Judy Book Club choice, and the first ever winner of the Galaxy Audiobook of the Year.

 Learn more about Louisa at her website?and connect with her on Facebook?and Twitter.


Louisa’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, March 10th: Tina Says …
Wednesday, March 11th: Giraffe Days
Thursday, March 12th: Open Book Society
Monday, March 16th: Peppermint PhD
Tuesday, March 17th: Read Her Like an Open Book
Wednesday, March 18th: A Book Geek
Thursday, March 19th: Helen’s Book Blog
Monday, March 23rd: Staircase Wit
Tuesday, March 24th: Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, March 25th: Mom in Love With Fiction
Monday, March 30th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Review