Sunday, May 24, 2015

Aurelia Blog Tour and Review

02_Aurelia_Cover
AURELIA by Alison Morton
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher:SilverWood Books
Series: Roma Nova, Book Four
Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher/Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review


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Late 1960s Roma Nova, the last Roman colony that has survived into the 21st century. Aurelia Mitela is alone - her partner gone, her child sickly and her mother dead. Forced in her mid-twenties to give up her beloved career as a Praetorian officer, she is struggling to manage an extended family tribe, businesses and senatorial political life.

But her country needs her unique skills. Somebody is smuggling silver  Roma Nova's lifeblood - on an industrial scale. Sent to Berlin to investigate, she encounters the mysterious and attractive Mikl's, a suspected smuggler, and Caius Tellus, a Roma Novan she has despised, and feared, since childhood.

Aurelia suspects that the silver smuggling hides a deeper conspiracy and follows a lead into the Berlin criminal underworld. Barely escaping a trap set by a gang boss intent on terminating her, she realises that her old enemy is at the heart of all her troubles and pursues him back home to Roma Nova...

My Take:

I haven't read any of the other Roma Nova novels, but since this is a sort of prequel to the others, it wasn't an issue for me. I wasn't sure what to expect from AURELIA, but I was intrigued by the idea of a Roman colony surviving into modern times. Another aspect of the novel that particularly appealed to me was the fact that the families are lead by the women.

There is a brief explanation of the alternative world and how Roma Nova has evolved at the beginning of the book. I found this information very helpful and so interesting. Since I hadn't read the previous books, it helped with the world building and was also fascinating from an (alt) historical perspective.

I found myself quickly drawn into the world and the story. Aurelia is a compelling and admirable main character. There are many interesting characters including some really awful villains -- the best kind - the kind I love to hate. Longstanding grudges and resentments play a big part and make me want to read more about this world and these characters.

I was actually a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The plot is complicated and covers quite a bit of time and several countries with lots of action and intrigue and even a fair amount of tragedy.  I hate to give too many details about the story because this is definitely a book that should be experienced without too much information. It was a delight and I am looking forward to reading more in the Nova Roma series.



Aurelia Book Trailer



Available at

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

About the Author

03_Alison Morton_AuthorEven before she pulled on her first set of combats, Alison Morton was fascinated by the idea of women soldiers. Brought up by a feminist mother and an ex-military father, it never occurred to her that women couldn't serve their country in the armed forces. Everybody in her family had done time in uniform and in theatre - regular and reserve Army, RAF, WRNS, WRAF - all over the globe.

So busy in her day job, Alison joined the Territorial Army in a special communications regiment and left as a captain, having done all sorts of interesting and exciting things no civilian would ever know or see. Or that she can talk about, even now. . .

But something else fuels her writing. . . Fascinated by the mosaics at Ampurias (Spain), at their creation by the complex, power and value-driven Roman civilisation started her wondering what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women. . .

Now, she lives in France and writes Roman-themed alternate history thrillers with tough heroines:

INCEPTIO, the first in the Roma Nova series

- shortlisted for the 2013 International Rubery Book Award
- B.R.A.G. Medallion
- finalist in 2014 Writing Magazine Self-Published Book of the Year

PERFIDITAS, second in series

- B.R.A.G. Medallion
- finalist in 2014 Writing Magazine Self-Published Book of the Year

SUCCESSIO, third in series

- Historical Novel Society?s indie Editor?s Choice for Autumn 2014
- B.R.A.G. Medallion
- Editor?s choice, The Bookseller?s inaugural Indie Preview, December 2014

Fact file

Education: BA French, German & Economics, MA History
Memberships: International Thriller Writers, Historical Novel Society, Alliance of Independent Authors, Society of Authors
Represented by Annette Crossland of A for Authors Literary Agency for subsidiary and foreign rights.

Connect with Alison Morton

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon UK Author Page
Amazon US Author Page

Aurelia Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 11
Tour Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, May 12
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, May 13
Spotlight at Book Nerd

Saturday, May 16
Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews

Sunday, May 17
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Friday, May 22
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Monday, May 25
Review at A Book Geek

Tuesday, May 26
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Friday, May 29
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, June 3
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, June 5
Spotlight at Layered Pages

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lowcountry Boneyard Blog Tour and Review

Lowcountry Boneyard


Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyers
Publication date: April 21, 2015 by Henery Press
Paperback: 292 pages
Genre: Mystery
Source: Author/publisher via TLC Book Tours for an honest review
Where is Kent Heyward? The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes.
But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.
Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.
Praise
“Has everything you could want in a traditional mystery: a credible and savvy protagonist, a meaty mystery, and setting that will make you want to spend time in South Carolina. I enjoyed every minute of it.” – Charlaine Harris, New York TimesBestselling Author of Day Shift

My Take: 


Lowcountry Boneyard is a southern mystery with a touch of paranormal. The paranormal is Colleen, the ghost of Liz Talbot's best friend. At first, I was a bit concerned about what this aspect of the book would do to the overall story, but I ended up loving it. Colleen pops in when needed and is learning new ghostly skills all the time -- which is extremely helpful for Liz. 

I wouldn't call Lowcountry Boneyard a cozy mystery because it was too tense and some seriously bad stuff happens, but it was definitely a page turner and I was thoroughly involved in the story from the first chapter. I really liked Liz, the point of view character and a real southern woman with serious crime solving skills. She is funny and smart and has a strong sense of style. Even when her personal relationship with her business partner hits a rough patch, she is still the professional and continues to focus on the case at hand.

The missing persons case of finding heiress Kent Heyward takes some crazy and scary turns early on. Liz and Nate have their work cut out for them. Beyond that, I hate to say too much about the plot -- this is one crazy ride and I don't want to ruin the fun for the reader. There is so much going on and so many interesting and, in some cases, creepy people introduced in the course of the novel. I loved every minute of this book! 

I haven't read any of the other Liz Talbot Mysteries, but I will be changing that in the immediate future. I enjoyed Lowcountry Boneyard so much that I am going to make reading the other books my summer goal. The story is fun and exciting and a real nail-biter of a suspenseful mystery. I will definitely recommend it to friends and family. I can't wait to see what adventures Liz and Colleen will get up to next!





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Susan BoyerAbout Susan M. Boyer

Susan M. Boyer is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boilwon the 2012 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other award nominations. Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives.  You’ll find all of the above in her novels.
Susan lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.
Find out more about Susan at her website, and connect with her on Facebook andTwitter.

Susan’s Tour Stops

Friday, April 24th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, April 27th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Wednesday, April 29th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, May 1st: From the TBR Pile
Monday, May 4th: Bibliotica
Tuesday, May 5th: FictionZeal
Tuesday, May 5th: Mystery Playground
Thursday, May 7th: Ms.Bookish.com
Monday, May 11th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Tuesday, May 12th: Walking With Nora
Wednesday, May 13th: Bell, Book and Candle
Monday, May 18th: Reading Reality
Thursday, May 21st: The many thoughts of a reader
Monday, May 25th: Priscilla and Her Books
Tuesday, June 2nd: Book Loving Hippo
Wednesday, June 3rd: Jane Reads


Monday, May 18, 2015

Genius de Milo Spotlight

ABookGeek is happy to host this spotlight for Genius De Milo by Russ Colchamiro via Pump Up Your Book.



Title: Genius De Milo
Author: Russ Colchamiro
Publisher: Crazy 8 Press
Pages: 320
Genre: SciFi/Comedy
Format: Paperback/Kindle


Best pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes barely survived a backpacking trip through Europe and New Zealand that — thanks to a jar of Cosmic Building Material they found — almost wiped out the galaxy. But just as they envision a future without any more cosmic lunacy:

The Earth has started fluxing in and out of existence, Theo's twin girls are teleporting, and Jason can't tell which version of his life is real.

All because of Milo, the Universe's ultimate gremlin.

Joined by the mysterious Jamie — a down-and-out hotel clerk from Eternity — Jason and Theo reunite on a frantic, cross-country chase across America, praying they can retrieve that jar, circumvent Milo, and save the Earth from irrevocable disaster.

In author Russ Colchamiro’s uproarious sequel to Finders Keepers, he finally confirms what we've long suspected — that there’s no galactic Milo quite like a Genius de Milo.

For More Information




Book Excerpt:
Jason’s smile dropped away, replaced with a silent, open-mouthed slug of resignation, that whatever was happening was authentic, and unfolding in real time.

In a shared-brain moment Jason and Theo slowly panned in Jamie’s direction  until finally she felt their accusatorial eyes lock on her. And though neither of them spoke, the imputation of blame came through with perfect enunciation: What did you do? What’s coming?

But what could she say? Which cluster of words could encapsulate both the scope and nuance of their predicament? Jamie could offer a pretty good guess as to why their immediate surroundings morphed before their very eyes—it had to be Brigsby-related, didn’t it?—but when it came to the what, she was equally mystified.

So all she could do was stand there. She blinked a few times. Then a few times more. The night went bracingly still, as if every fractal of sound had been drained from the Universe. The three of them held in place, petrified, as if the incredible forces converging upon them were seemingly just to be unleashed. Which, of course, they were.





About the Author
 
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure Crossline, the hilarious scifi backpacking comedy Finders Keepers, and the outrageous sequel, Genius de Milo, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in West Orange, NJ, with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ is now at work on the final book in the Finders Keepers trilogy.

As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.

His latest book is the science fiction novel, Genius De Milo.
For More Information


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blood of a Stone Blog Tour and Review

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Blood of a Stone by Jeanne Lyet Gassman
Publication Date: March 17, 2015 Tuscany Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
Pages: 371
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review


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 Set in the first century on the edges of the Roman Empire and the Jesus movement, Blood of a Stone is a sweeping story of murder, betrayal, love, and the search for redemption. Faced with the brutality of slavery, Demetrios confronts his master and flees by the blood of a stone. Determined to escape his past, he struggles to create a new life and a new identity with his friend and fellow escaped slave, Elazar. However, freedom has its price. Secrets cannot remain secret forever. A chance for love is lost. Elazar betrays Demetrios to a so-called prophet named Jesus of Nazareth. Fearing the Roman authorities and Jesus, Demetrios risks everything to silence those who would enslave him again. His quest leads him to startling discoveries and dire choices. Demetrios must answer the question we all ask: Can we ever be free of our past?

Praise for Blood of a Stone

"Blood of a Stone takes the reader on an adventure in a fascinating period of history where the Roman Empire and the birth of Christianity converge. An extremely well written historical novel." -Amazon Best Selling Author of The Olivia Series, Yael Politis

"Jeanne Gassman has composed a spiritual journey of one man's heart-rending path to redemption on the fringe of the Jesus movement. Wrapped in polished prose and vivid depictions of life in 1st Century Palestine, Gassman's story transcends genres to offer a rich biblical tale of love, loss, forgiveness, and the restorative power of faith." -Barbara Devlin, Bestselling Author of the Brethren of the Coast series

"BLOOD OF A STONE by Jeanne Gassman is an enthralling, introspective historical tale that studies the human spirit in all its various forms: the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. The novel is touching, wonderfully written and has a stunning story line that will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommend!" -Eliza Knight, USA Today Bestselling Author, My Lady Viper 

"Details of 1st-Century Palestine come alive as Jeanne Lyet Gassman weaves a compelling story of unspeakable challenge and the search for redemption. Trapped in a life of desperation, Demetrios will do whatever it takes to escape, even kill those who enslave him. But when his life comes in contact with the man, Jesus, everything that seemed so important begins to shift. The story moves from pulse-pounding action to heart-wrenching honesty, as Demetrios pursues the Peace every heart craves." -Amazon Best-seller Author, Christy M. Bellar, The Lady and the Mountain Man

"Grace, one of the most challenging journeys of life and literature, is explored in this fine debut novel by Jeanne Lyet Gassman. Set in first century Palestine during the time of Jesus, BLOOD OF A STONE is a moving, well-researched, beautifully turned novel that had me engaged and in tears. Highly recommended!" -Best-selling author Allegra Jordan, The End of Innocence

"Jeanne Gassman is a remarkable writer who brings a Biblical era stunningly to life in this powerful and fast-moving tale of sin and redemption." -American Fiction Prize Winner, Clint McCown, author of Haints

"In art man finds a conduit to the divine. Blood of a Stone, Jeanne L. Gassman?s artful debut, is a tale of murder, love, betrayal, and redemption in 1st century Judea. Crafted with imagination and superlative style, her story tracks slaves Demetrios? and Elazar?s arduous climb from sin to forgiveness." -Winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award, David Beckett, The Cana Mystery

"Jeanne Lyet Gassman's stunning evocation of 1st-century Palestine in all its teeming, multifaceted complexity compelled me, page after page, to follow the fateful pilgrimage to Jerusalem while also walking the rocky path from undeserved suffering and terrible guilt to the possibility--open to all of us--of forgiving and being forgiven." -Diane Lefer, co-author of The Blessing Next to the Wound

"Blood of a Stone is a gripping story of friendship and betrayal, love against all odds, a brutal Roman Empire, and the threat of a revolt that becomes instead the beginnings of freedom. Jeanne Lyet Gassman tells us what it was like to live in the time of emperors and slavery, a world into which Christ was born." -National Book Award Winner, Gloria Whelan, Homeless Bird

"A meditative journey on the ways that life cripple us all -- and the choices we make that lead to bitterness and blame or joy and forgiveness -- Gassman's BLOOD OF A STONE is a biblical journey of self-discovery that will strike a chord in every reader." -Michelle Zink, Author of Prophecy of the Sisters Trilogy

"Jeanne Lyet Gassman is an astonishingly good writer. The ancient world of Blood of a Stone feels alive on every page. And if you think there's nothing fresh to say about the fragility of freedom and the difficult road towards redemption, this novel-chock-full of compelling characters and propelled by a polished, downright luminous prose-will provide new and heartfelt insights." -Nance Van Winckel, author of Boneland: Linked Stories

"In Blood of a Stone, author Jeanne Lyet Gassman leads the reader on a journey of surprise and suspense. Her well-researched work is the story of Demetrios, a slave who sinks to murder to defend his own life. He is a Gentile, in partnership with Elazar, a Jew. They travel Palestine in the midst of the Jesus movement and each in his own way finds his life changed." -Wall Street Journal Top Ten book selection author, Donna Foley Mabrey, Maude


My Take:

Blood of a Stone is an interesting book. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started reading it. The main character is Demetrios, a young Gentile who was sold into slavery by his father. After a short life filled with abuse and suffering a severe injury at the hands of his own father that has left him with a crippled leg, he is then further betrayed by being sold as a slave. This is a defining point in young Demetrios's life and he is filled with resentment and fear. Elazar, another slave, befriends him and stands by him even after Demetrios commits a terrible crime.

The lives of Elazar and Demetrios are intertwined from this point on. They manage to begin new lives and things seem to be going well until Elazar does the unthinkable and insists on following Jesus. Demetrios is again betrayed and this event sets off a wild and strange and possibly miraculous chain of events. The novel is mostly about Demetrios and how his past has defined his character and how he is basically emotionally crippled by his anger and fear. 

I found myself very intrigued with where the story was going and despite some initial hesitancy, found myself anxiously turning virtual pages as quickly as possible to find out how the book ended. I appreciated that the author didn't focus too much on Jesus or his followers beyond how they interacted with the main characters of Demetrios, Elazar and later, Tabitha. 

I also enjoyed the descriptions of the legal, political and social aspects of life and the practical day to day things that I hadn't given much thought to before. I also liked that the author didn't try to explain too much about some of the more mysterious events, but let them stand on their own.  There is much to praise in this book and I enjoyed it very much. 



Available at

Amazon Amazon (Kindle)

About the Author

03_Jeanne Lyet GassmanJeanne Lyet Gassman lives in Arizona where the desert landscape inspires much of her fiction. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has received fellowships from Ragdale and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. In addition to writing, Jeanne teaches creative writing workshops in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. Her work has appeared in Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Red Savina Review, The Museum of Americana, Assisi: An Online Journal of Arts & Letters, Switchback, Literary Mama, and Barrelhouse, among many others. Blood of a Stone is her debut novel.

Author Links

Jeanne Lyet Gassman
Jeanne's Writing Desk
Facebook Author Page
Goodreads
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Blood of a Stone Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 4
Spotlight at Curling Up With A Good Book

Tuesday, May 5
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, May 6
Spotlight at Cheryl's Book Nook

Thursday, May 7
Excerpt & Guest Post at Curling Up With A Good Book

Friday, May 8
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, May 12
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, May 13
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise

Thursday, May 14
Review at A Book Geek

Monday, May 18
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, May 19
Guest Post & Giveaway at Latte Da
Excerpt & Giveaway at Queen of All She Reads

Wednesday, May 20
Review at Genre Queen

Thursday, May 21
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Guest Post & Giveaway at Raven Haired Girl

Friday, May 22
Blog Tour Wrap-Up at Passages to the Past


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Monday, May 11, 2015

The Holy Lance Blog Tour and Review

02_The Holy Lance_Cover
The Holy Lance by Andrew Latham
Publication Date: March 24, 2015 Knox Robinson Publishing Formats: eBook, Hardcover 
Pages: 360 
Series: The English Templars (Book One) 
Genre: Historical Fiction/Middle Ages 
Source: Author/Publisher for an honest review

READ AN EXCERPT.


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 The year is 1191. A daring counterattack against the Saracens? last-ditch effort to relieve the besieged city of Acre has not only saved the Christian host from a fatal defeat; it has also brought the leader of that counterattack, English Templar Michael Fitz Alan, to the attention of King Richard the Lionheart. In the days that follow, the king charges Fitz Alan with a life-or-death mission ? to recover the Holy Lance, a long-lost religious relic widely believed to be responsible for the near-miraculous success of the First Crusade. The ensuing quest leads Fitz Alan and a hand-picked band of Templars on a journey deep into enemy territory, where they battle Saracens, Assassins, hostile Christians and even a traitor within their own ranks as they seek to return the Holy Lance to Christian hands and thereby ensure the success of the crusade.

Early Praise for The Holy Lance

"A timely and compelling novel. The Crusades inform and often infect our understanding of the contemporary Middle East, and while this book is fiction it reveals much of the truth about that misunderstood era. Outstanding reading." - Michael Coren, award-winning television host, radio personality, syndicated columnist, and best-selling author of fourteen books, including most recently The Future of Catholicism

"A fascinating and thrilling story played out under the boiling heat of Palestine at a time when two cultures clashed violently over the ultimate prize of Jerusalem. Andrew Latham has created a believable and sympathetic lead character in the Templar Fitz Alan as well as providing us with a thrilling insight into the mysteries of the Templar order. A most enjoyable tale, like that of an experienced jongleur, set against the personal conflict between Richard of England and Saladin. It vividly resurrects the life and death struggle between Saracen and Crusader." - Dr. Paul Doherty, OBE, historian and critically acclaimed author of dozens of works of historical fiction, including The Templar, The Templar Magician and most recently The Last of Days

"Grizzled warriors, an epic conflict, a fabled quest: Latham's engrossing tale of violence and faith careens savagely through the Third Crusade and its legendary clash of wills - 'Coeur de Lion' versus 'Saladin', 'Frank' versus 'Saracen'. The splendid English Templar, Michael Fitz Alan - flawed, fearless, lethal - here joins the front rank of historical fiction's greatest warriors."- Dr. Dean F. Oliver, award-winning author, director of research at the Canadian Museum of History, and Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau

"Violent and visceral. . . meticulously researched. . .  superbly plotted. . . The Holy Lance is historical fiction at its best!" - Steven A. McKay, bestselling author of Wolf?s Head and The Wolf and the Raven

"If you're looking for an historical adventure soaked in blood. . . The Holy Lance delivers. . . Latham shows a welcome attention to the complexities of the Crusader world and to the details of Templar life. A satisfying amount of blood is shed as Michael Fitz Alan and his Templar troops battle their way towards their goal. And the book offers a rousing conclusion, with the promise of more to come. Bring it on!" - Jack Hight, author of The Saladin Trilogy

My Take:


The Holy Lance by Andrew Latham is a short, but exciting tale that introduces the reader to a worthy Templar knight by the name of Michael Fitz Alan. Fitz Alan is flawed and troubled by his past, but loyal and determined to fulfill his duty. Once I got all the players figured out, I was completely pulled into the story.

I liked that although Fitz Alan has a violent past as a knight, he seems to truly want to change - now he only fights for his faith. He is obviously trying to outrun something in his past, and while what that might be is only hinted at, I am hopeful that there will be more information in the following books. Fitz Alan is an intriguing character with nuance and complexity - he is a knight with all that entails, but not one from a fairy tale.

There is much violence and bloodshed and both sides - Saracen and Christian - feel they are on the right side. I appreciated that neither side is portrayed as wholly good or wholly evil. There are loyal companions and disloyal traitors in both camps. There are so many factions and groups within groups that it is wonderfully complex and hard to decide who exactly is a good guy - if there is such a thing.

From approximately the half way point on, I was hard pressed to make myself put the book down --- I was thoroughly caught up in the tale. I loved the detailed descriptions of the battles and daily life on crusade. I am excited at the prospect of reading more about Fitz Alan's adventures and I hope that the next book will include more about the Hospitallers and the Assassins as well as the Templars. The Holy Lance should appeal to anyone who enjoys historical fiction that takes place during the Crusades, Richard of England, the Templars, military fiction and just historical fiction in general. I am looking forward to the next installment of The English Templars Series.



Pre-Order the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
IndieBound

About the Author

03_Andrew Latham_AuthorKnox Robinson author Andrew A. Latham is an award-winning professor of International Relations who regularly teaches courses in medieval political thought, international relations, and war. Trained as a Political Scientist, Latham has spent the last decade-and-a-half researching political violence in the Middle Ages. He has written scholarly articles on medieval war, the crusades, jihad, and the political thought of Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas. His most recent book is a work of non-fiction entitled Theorizing Medieval Geopolitics: War and World Order in the Age of the Crusades. Latham was born in England, raised in Canada and currently lives in the United States. He graduated from York University in Toronto with a BA (Honours) in Political Science, later earned an MA from Queen?s University in Kingston and, later yet, a PhD from his alma mater, York. Latham is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Historical Writers? Association and De Re Militari: The Society For Medieval Military History. Since 1997 Latham has been a member of the Political Science Department at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he where he lives with his wife Wendy, daughter Bernadette and son Michael. For more information and updates, please visit Andrew Latham's website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Holy Lance Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 4
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, May 7
Guest Post & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, May 8
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Sunday, May 10
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, May 11
Review at A Book Geek
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, May 12
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, May 13
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, May 14
Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise

Friday, May 15
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

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Friday, May 1, 2015

The Last Book Ever Written Blog Tour and Review


The Last Book Ever Written
by Jonah Kruvant
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher:PanAm Books; first edition (April 28, 2015)
Source: Author via TLC Book Tours for an honest review

Description:
In a futuristic American society where all citizens have computerized chips in their brains and insert needles into their veins to enter a virtual reality, Victor Vale leads a fairly typical life.  He is an officer of the law with greater ambitions, a family man, and a dutiful citizen of the Nation.  Yet when The Chief assigns him a case to go undercover and expose a community of illegal “creators,†Victor finds himself strangely compelled to write.  For the first time, he starts to question the world around him, and becomes involved in a web of lies, uncertain of whom to trust, and unable to distinguish between virtualism and reality.  As he searches for answers, Victor slowly begins to unravel hidden truths about the world, and even uncovers an astonishing secret from his own past.

The Last Book Ever Written satirizes our competitive, success-driven society, foresees the effects of the economic recession, and warns what could happen if we let technology go too far.



My Take:

The Last Book Ever Written by Jonah Kruvant is a pretty ambitious undertaking. The story is told from the point of view of Victor Vale, a police officer who has recently been promoted to detective - or almost promoted. His promotion hinges on how well and quickly he can solve a new case. This particular case will cause Victor to question everything he believes and everything he thinks he knows about his world. 

The world that Victor inhabits is a futuristic distopian version of the United States where art, writing  and creativity in general are illegal. Kruvant paints an interesting if disturbing picture of a possible future for our society. The wealth gap has continued to widen and the poor are called and thought of as "the beggars" because since the advent of the automatrons that took over the service industry and manual labor, the working poor can no longer work to support themselves.

I liked the premise of the novel very much. This type of book is generally something I am quite interested in. I give Kruvant credit for his ambition and interesting vision of this distopian world. However, I believe that the book could benefit from additional editing to help with flow and dialog and address a few grammatical errors. 

I did appreciate the hints within the story which point at moments when our society has lost some perspective and points out that we should think for ourselves more - not just believe the media and go on about our lives in a superficial manner.






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About Jonah Kruvant

Jonah KruvantA writer, teacher, and student of the world, Jonah Kruvant received his Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College, his Master’s degree in Teaching from Fordham University and his MFA degree from Goddard College. After living abroad in four different countries, Jonah lives in New York. Visit his website at www.jonahkruvant.com.