Book Spotlight: Five Wives

I’m thrilled to share award-winning novel, Five Wives by Joan Thomas with all of you today. Read on for more details and a chance to win a print copy of the book!

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Five Wives

Publication Date: September 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins CA

In the 1950s, in the aftermath of World War II, five American families moved to Ecuador, determined to take the Christian gospel to a pre-Neolithic Amazonian tribe they called “the Auca.” The Waorani (proper name) were just as determined to maintain their isolation, and killed the missionary men at their second meeting. Four of the wives remained in Ecuador and one, Elisabeth Elliot, went further into the rainforest with her three-year old daughter to live with the Waorani.

Joan Thomas’s fictional treatment of this incident explores themes that are both eternal and immediate: faith and ideology, autonomy and self-protection, cultural understanding and misunderstanding, grief and doubt, and isolation. Five Wives rises out of immaculate research, including a visit to the ruins of the Elliot house in Ecuador, and out of the author’s own experience with the thinking and imperatives of evangelical missions. The novel sinks into the points of view of characters who are bound by past choices, yet make their own personal bargains in the midst of a crisis.

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Available on Amazon and Indigo

About the Author

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Joan Thomas’s fourth novel Five Wives won Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Described by the Globe and Mail as “brilliant, eloquent, curious, far-seeing,” it is an immersive dive into a real event, the disastrous attempt by five American families to move into the territory of the reclusive Waorani people in Ecuador in 1956.

Joan’s three previous novels have been praised for their intimate and insightful depictions of characters in times of rapid social change. Reading by Lightning, set in World War 2, won the 2008 Amazon Prize and a Commonwealth Prize. Curiosity, based on the life of the preDarwinist fossilist Mary Anning, was nominated for the 2010 Giller Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award. The Opening Sky, a novel about a family navigating contemporary crises, won the 2014 McNally Robinson Prize and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award.

Joan lives in Winnipeg, a prairie city at the geographical center of North America. Before beginning to write fiction, she was a longtime book reviewer. In 2014, Joan was awarded the Writers Trust of Canada’s prize for mid-career achievement.

Joan Thomas | Facebook | Twitter  

Giveaway: Click the link below for a chance to win a copy of the book. This giveaway will run from today until September 21st.

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An author and friend of mine recently released another book that you should check out. It is called The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland by Lucia Mann.

The Little Breadwinner - Front 3D Cover

Synopsis: FROM 1980 TO 1992, A TURBULENT CIVIL WAR ravaged the Central American state of El Salvador, claiming the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans. The Little Breadwinner is a story of tyrannized, frightened families—mostly poor peasants, indigenous peoples, and child farm workers—whose lives signified nothing to the military death squads.

Lucia Mann, who was in El Salvador at the time, recalls this vivid historical portrait of human rights violations during and after the “dirty” war between the military-led government and left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. This brutal conflict was backed politically, economically, and militarily by the United States with CIA involvement.

Throughout these pages, you will experience intense trials of courageous survival with unforgettable characters who yearn for peace, justice, and normalcy. One of the brave women you will meet is Estella Godwin Lozano (a Waorani tribe descendant of the Amazon rain forest), who suffered terribly before her brutal demise in Laredo, Texas in 2019. She was a “little person” who became traumatically affected by the abuse perpetrated by National Guard soldiers outside her pueblo home. She heroically joined the Sandinistas (Cuban-backed guerillas) to seek revenge upon the villains of her country.

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I did a video that I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I assembled my top 10 favorite Batman graphic novels to share with you. Let me know if you agree with these choices and comment down below any other Batman graphic novels you like! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: The Road to Delano

Welcome to the blog tour for historical fiction, The Road to Delano by John DeSimone!

The Road to Delano Cover 2D bThe Road to Delano

Publication Date: March 10, 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Coming of Age

Publisher: Rare Bird Books

Jack Duncan is a high school senior whose dream is to play baseball in college and beyond―as far away from Delano as possible. He longs to escape the political turmoil surrounding the labor struggles of the striking fieldworkers that infests his small ag town. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died under suspicious circumstances ten years earlier, he’s had to be the sole emotional support of his mother, who has kept secrets from him about his father’s involvement in the ongoing labor strife.

With their property on the verge of a tax sale, Jack drives an old combine into town to sell it so he and his mother don’t become homeless. On the road, an old friend of his father’s shows up and hands him the police report indicating Jack’s father was murdered. Jack is compelled to dig deep to discover the entire truth, which throws him into the heart of the corruption endemic in the Central Valley. Everything he has dreamed of is at stake if he can’t control his impulse for revenge.

While Jack’s girlfriend, the intelligent and articulate Ella, warns him not to so anything to jeopardize their plans of moving to L.A., after graduation, Jack turns to his best friend, Adrian, a star player on the team, to help to save his mother’s land. When Jack’s efforts to rescue a stolen piece of farm equipment leaves Adrian―the son of a boycotting fieldworker who works closely with Cesar Chavez―in a catastrophic situation, Jack must bail his friend out of his dilemma before it ruins his future prospects. Jack uses his wits, his acumen at card playing, and his boldness to raise the money to spring his friend, who has been transformed by his jail experience.

The Road to Delano is the path Jack, Ella, and Adrian must take to find their strength, their duty, their destiny.

“This whole story is an absolute triumph!”
Thehauntedfae Book Blog

The Road to Delano is a compelling story that will leave readers thinking about its surprise ending long after the final confrontation comes to a head.”    ―California Bookwatch

“Five Stars. Outstanding writing, fast-paced. A must-read for people who love history AND baseball.” ―ReedsyDiscovery

“I really enjoyed this story. It’s more than a little Steinbeck, in a very good way…”  —Leigh Anne, Book Sirens 

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Ash Wednesday

Monday at lunch, Jack and Ella settled on the grassy school quad. The morning haze, a gray dullness, hung over them. Ella in a long skirt and T-shirt printed with her favorite saying played her guitar. Jack ate slowly, as Ella gently strummed a Joan Baez song.

She let the last chord vibrate in the air. “You look far away today, Jack.”

“Just thinking.”

“Worried about the big game?” She strummed a C chord.

“Not really. I’m ready for those guys.” As crucial as the Arvin game was to his chances for a scholarship, his head spun with Herm, the sheriff, and lost combine. He needed to set all that aside.

But how?

“You’re worried about losing that combine, aren’t you?”

He shrugged and glanced off into the haze. Herm’s beat-up face filled him with too many questions, ones he would rather not ask.

“What do you think happened to it?”

Jack did his best to suppress a frown. He spent the next twenty minutes explaining how Sheriff Grant found Herm Gordon face down in the mud and how their combine had gone missing. Short of stealing someone else’s machine and selling it to pay the taxes, he didn’t have too many ideas about what he could do to save his mom’s place.

“Jack, you have to protest. Write to the newspaper. Make noise until the sheriff finds your combine. Someone knew you needed that money to save your property.”

Ella’s sense of urgency hovered over her, an impending sense of doom that required her to stand up and shout to drive it away. She had been this way since he first met her, always ready to protest. Vietnam had taken up most of her attention. But it was their trip to Berkeley a couple of years ago that had set her on fire, and had almost got Jack arrested in front of Sproul Hall.

Two years ago, their sophomore debate team had joined the junior and senior team on a field trip to UC Berkeley to observe a statewide competition. They left Delano before dawn and talked for the entire four-hour bus ride. That was something he had never done with any girl. They sat across from each other, an aisle between them. Her darting green eyes held his interest. Life shot out of them, beautiful and intelligent in the same instant.

They debated the war in Vietnam, who killed JFK, the likelihood of a gunman on the grassy knoll, the Selma march, the Freedom Riders, Malcolm X, the Black Panthers—she had an opinion on everything. Mostly, she made sense. The girl’s intensity at times unsettled him, but it mostly intrigued him.

During the debate competition in a Berkeley auditorium, shortly after the lunch break, Ella leaned into him in the dark. “Meet me outside on the steps in a few minutes.”

Without waiting for an answer, she rose and disappeared. Jack stewed in his seat, trying to figure out what she was up to. He wouldn’t miss much if he left. Besides, her sense of adventure piqued him. A few minutes later, he found her outside the glass doors on the steps. In the breeze, her brown hair, straight and long, riffled across her mischievous smile.

“There’s an FSM rally on the other side of the campus. Go with me. We’ll be back in plenty of time.” “A what?” he asked.

“You know, the Free Speech Movement. Please, go with me,” she pleaded with her green eyes. “Mario Savio is going to speak.”

From the way she threw out his name, he was someone Jack should know. He had never heard of the Free Speech Movement, or Savio, whoever he was. Jack glanced back to the doors.

“They’ll be in there for hours.” She took his hand. He marveled at her warm grasp. He liked it.

They made their way through a maze of buildings. She must have had this all planned out. She led him directly to a large plaza packed with students milling about. Some sat, most stood talking and smoking, and clouds of strange smelling smoke wafted over the crowd. A line of cops stood on the fringes of the crowd. They fidgeted with their batons.

The two of them were so far back, they could hardly make out what the speaker was saying. Ella pushed her way toward the front, and Jack held on. Had she done this before? She stopped when they were about twenty feet from the speaker, who read a list of students who were being expelled. People were booing.

A new speaker came to the microphone, a tall wiry-haired student in a white shirt and sheepskin-lined jacket. Electricity seemed to shoot right out of his hair. The crowd around Jack murmured, likely wondering what this guy was going to say. Ella squeezed his hand tighter. He didn’t dare let go of her, afraid they’d get separated in the jostling crowd.

The crowd hushed when the man with the electric hair started to speak. He had a machine-gun delivery. His message burst from him with so much energy the entire crowd leaned in for more. His lips moved like waves, every word coated with fire.

I ask you to consider if this university is a firm…we’re the raw materials.

And we don’t mean to be made into any product…to be bought by anyone.

We’re human beings!

The crowd applauded, and Ella loosed her hand to clap and shout.

There’s a time the operation of the machine becomes so odious… you can’t take part.

You’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears…upon the levers… and you’ve got to make it stop.…Unless you’re free, the machine won’t be prevented from working.

The crowd broke into more applause. Kids were yelling their agreement. Jack wasn’t clear what machine the guy was talking about, or what freedom he didn’t have, and what gears needed to be stopped. Then the speaker introduced Joan Baez, and the crowd went crazy with chatter and clapping.

She started singing a Bob Dylan song, and a hush fell over everyone.

How many times can a man turn his head And pretend that he doesn’t see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind… Ella hopped up and down on the balls of her feet.

Baez started up another song, “We shall overcome…,” and everyone joined in, the crowd swayed with the words. Something great, something powerful was about to break open here. He took Ella’s hand, and she gave him a complicit smile. She held him tight as if she feared she would float away in the euphoria of the moment.

When the song ended, she pulsed forward. Jack dared not let her go as they slipped between applauding students who hovered around the famous singer. Ella ascended right up to the great Joan Baez, her long black hair draped over her shoulders, her guitar slung over her neck.

Ella tried to talk calmly, but she only stammered.

“Did you want an autograph, honey?”

Ella had a confused look as if the question she wanted to ask had slipped away.

“Do you go to school here?”

Ella shook her head. “Delano High School.”

“Look,” Baez pointed over Ella’s shoulder. “You guys got to get out of here. There’s going to be trouble.”

At the far end of the crowd, cops were forcing students to move. Cop cars with lights flashing swarmed into the quad forcing students toward them. Panicked voices, screams, and shouting rose in the quad. Police vans rolled into the quad, lights flashing, the short squawks of their sirens stirred up the crowd.

Available on Amazon

Giveaway: For your chance to win a hardcover edition of The Road to Delano, click the link below!

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About the Author

John DeSimone-Blue Shirt

John DeSimone is a novelist, memoirist, and editor. He’s co-authored bestselling The Broken Circle: A memoir of escaping Afghanistan, and others. He taught writing as an adjunct professor at Biola University and has worked as a freelance editor and writer for nearly twenty years. His current release, a historical novel, The Road to Delano, is a coming of age novel set during the Delano grape strike led by Cesar Chavez. BookSirens said, “It’s more than a little Steinbeck, in a good way….” He lives in Claremont, Ca, and can be found on Goodreads and at  www.johndesimone.com

Blog Tour Schedule

August 3rd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

August 4th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Bookriot (Spotlight) http://anjedah.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

August 5th

@a.p.reading (Review) https://www.instagram.com/a.p.reading/

@kikis_books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/kikis_books/

Inked & Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

August 6th

Where Dragons Reside (Spotlight) https://kernerangelina.live/

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

August 7th

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

@district.reads (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/district.reads/

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

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It’s that time of year again where we take our final exams for the Magical Readathon and this will be the last one because G from Book Roast will be switching it up which is sad but understandable. So these are all the books I will be reading for my NEWT exams. Check out the video below:

Book Review: The Seven Keys of Hildegard – Of Love & Betrayal

I finished my last book on my July TBR on August 1st so I was just teensy bit late but I am counting it! This one was called The Seven Keys of Hildegard: Of Love & Betrayal by David Dupuis and is the 2nd book in a series.

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Synopsis: In 1167, a German nun named Hildegard, has seven troubling visions of the end times. In 1958, the new pope, John XXIII, begins his reign and must decide how to make his church relevant in a rapidly changing and increasingly dangerous world of the 1960s and 70s. In this second book of David Dupuis’ thrilling five-part historical-fiction series, the ancient battle lines are drawn. From a convent in Fatima, Portugal, to a hut in Africa, the halls of the Vatican, office towers in New York City to a small town in Canada, the ancient Keys inevitably turn. Through it all, a mother’s devotion to her child and those who protect them are threatened. Can the church and world be saved from political, economic, military and spiritual assassinations? With evil lurking in the halls of power, only two things are certain. Where there is love—there is always betrayal.

Like I have said many times before, historical fiction has never really been my thing. But David’s first book actually intrigued me and gave me a little bit of a liking for the genre. So now in his second book, I can say that the little bit of love is still there as I enjoyed this one too.

I think I liked this one because you already knew a lot of the characters because one of my issues with the first one was that there were a lot of characters to keep track of and it was a bit hard for me to keep up but now that they have been fostered into my mind, this book went a lot smoother. I do think the book could have been a little bit shorter and there were some parts that could have been taken out but I can also see how the author wanted to build anticipation for that big ending.

Some of the relationships seemed a little forced but others were very heartwarming and had me invested. These books deal with family a lot and I do like that about them. Having a caring and supportive family is really nice to see in a book.

I will definitely read the rest of the books in this series when they come out.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads. This book was published through Friesen Press.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in ebook format to read and give an honest review.



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The new Taylor Swift album is here!!!! So what better way to celebrate than to do a book tag around it. Let me know in the comments which song is your favorite off the new album! Check out the video below:

Book Review: The Seven Keys of Hildegard – Of Mercy & Of Death

I took another try at historical fiction and let me tell you, I didn’t mind it this time! I read The Seven Keys of Hildegard: Of Mercy & Of Death by David Dupuis.

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Synopsis: In 1167, a German nun has a troubling vision, prophesizing the end times. In 1917, Mary appears to three children in Fatima, Portugal, revealing mysterious secrets. In 1936, a young man is inexplicably hurled to his death off the side of a mountain in Italy, and the newborn he unknowingly leaves behind is spirited away to America by his terrified mother. But why?

Tackling events throughout the early 20th century, The Seven Keys of Hildegard: Of Mercy & Of Death will challenge the very truth of what the church and the world knows. Through two world wars, and from the Vatican in Rome, Italy, to New York City and small-town Canada, two knowing popes, an unsuspecting archbishop and a monsignor become entangled in Hildegard’s ancient web of prophecies. And one thing is certain—Armageddon is nigh.

I normally am not a big fan of historical fiction but this book was pulling me in. There is this intense sense of urgency the entire time that something bad is coming and they must do everything they can to prepare for it. The characters are developed well and the book stays interesting by jumping back and forth from different time periods as well as places around the world.

It took a whole new turn on good vs evil and there is so much more to explore as this is only the first book in a series.

There were times that I was less interested in the book. These were when they were having lots of conversations between different members and denominations of the church. I also found it a little difficult to keep track of different roles within the church and all the different priests as the series deals with a lot of them.

I will definitely be continuing the series as I finally found a historical fiction that doesn’t bore me to tears.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in an e-book format by the author to read and give an honest review.



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There are so many great popular book series out there and so I decided to make a video telling you about the ones that I would like to start and the popular book series that I have started and just need to finish! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Our Hearts Are Blind

Welcome to the blog tour for Historical Romance, Our Hearts are Blind by Heidi Sprouse!

OHareB digital coverOur Hearts are Blind

Publication Date: May 5, 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Romance

Heidi Sprouse does it again !! Our Hearts Are Blind will capture the readers attention immediately and continue holding you tight until you read the last word…..

In Our Hearts are Blind as the world is divided and in the midst of the Civil War, one family is also at war amongs themselves. Thomas Cooke is the youngest son to a rich and powerful plantation owner. Thomas and his older brother Beau have a great life….they have indoor plumbing, their house is beautiful, their closets are overflowing with beautiful clothing, they attend parties and they are loved and cherished by their parents and each other. Even though they have everything they could possibly want, Thomas cannot help but feel empty and confused.

His family is surrounded by workers, workers in the fields and around the house, maintaining the land. These workers have been a part of Thomas’ life forever but he cannot help but feel it is wrong because these workers are actually slaves…..and one of them, Caroline, has captured his heart. Thomas feel in love with Caroline when they were young and her mother would watch the two of them as she carried on her duties in the house. To the world this feeling of love between Thomas and Caroline is wrong because Thomas is white and Caroline is black.

Thomas will do whatever it takes to be with Caroline….even leave the home and family he loves. Thomas knows that he cannot live this life anymore, it is a lie and it is tearing him up inside, he needs to do the right thing and help free the slaves even if it disappoints his family and he can never go back to his entitled life.

Follow Thomas in the hardest journey he will even face. It will surprise the reader to see where it goes and who goes with him….. We can only HOPE Thomas gets his happily even after.

“Our Hearts are Blind is not only a love story, it is a story about devotion and commitment, it is a story about conflict, it is a story about relationships and the bond between family.”

Excerpt

At the sound of approaching footsteps, Beau signaled to him to be quiet. A willowy, statuesque woman in a dress the color of the heavy cream in Thomas’ morning coffee joined them, carrying a tray of chilled drinks. Her dark hair was braided around her head like a crown, one of Mama’s pink roses tucked behind her ear. Her skin, a rich mahogany, glistened in the morning light. She set his heart to pounding and stole his breath away. She carefully placed a mint julep on the table at his brother’s side with a slight bow of her head, grace embodied in the form of a woman.

“Thank you, Caroline,” Beau told her politely.

Even her name was lovely, taken from their paternal grandmother. Her mother, Amelia, was named after their maternal grandmother. They were both favorites in a long line of help that dated back at least a century.

She slowly approached Thomas, giving him one glance of her creek-water eyes before dipping her head demurely. As she placed his drink in his hand, her finger grazed his skin. It was as if someone set him on fire. He wanted to latch on. Pull her into his arms. Set her on his lap and see if she would fit. He knew that she would. A blush seeped into her cheeks. She gave him a nervous smile and slipped away.

Beau’s eyes snapped as he set his drink down so hard it nearly shattered, “Is she what this is all about, why you are so upset? Brother, you need to stop this right now!”

Thomas shot up from his chair and made for the stairs when his mother stepped onto the veranda. Alicia Cooke somehow always managed to look cool and put together, not a hair out of place, her thick strands tucked neatly in a twist at the back of her head. Her day gown in a pale rose complemented her dark complexion perfectly. She was adept at putting out fires and unruffling feathers. Like a rudder silently at work beneath the surface of the water, she could steer her family in the right direction. She had an uncanny sense of when something was wrong. With her household, her husband, or her sons. Her forehead creased in the middle as she stopped her youngest and placed her hand under his chin. “Whatever is the matter?”

She usually had the power to soothe him. With her quiet ways, he often thought his mother understood him best. Right now, nothing would put him at ease. He pushed the air between his teeth and dipped in to give her a peck on the cheek. “I just need to go for a walk, Mama. The heat is getting to me and has put me in a foul mood.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

author headshot 2

Heidi Sprouse is a resident of historic Johnstown in upstate NY and went to college at St. Rose in Albany.

Heidi started her journey to becoming an author when she was just a child. She would practice creative writing with her friends and continued to write on through college. It wasn’t until her early thirties, after her father passed away, that she began seriously penning words with the intent to write books. As an author, Heidi opens a window into her worlds of sweet romances, historical fiction, and suspense thrillers. She’s always in search of the finding the extraordinary within the ordinary; writing about strong men with old-fashioned values and the women who pick them up when they fall.

When she isn’t writing, she adores spending time with her husband Jim, her son Patrick and her furry canine kids. She also has a rewarding career as a Pre-K teacher.

Heidi Sprouse | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

OurHeartsareBlind

Blog Tour Schedule

May 18th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Life at 17 (Review) https://lifeat17.wordpress.com

May 19th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

May 20th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Books Teacup & Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

May 21st

Indie’s Reviews (Spotlight) http://indieproreview.blogspot.com/

Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

May 22nd

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

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I did the What Makes Me Pick Up A Book Tag! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Constable Outreach 35

Welcome to the blog tour for Constable Outreach 35 by Jay Cadmus! Read on for book details, and a guest post from the author!

Book CoverConstable Outreach 35

Publication Date: April 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Thriller

Insurgency forces build against the Sandinista Government of Nicaragua. Story opens in Tegucigalpa during Contra War in 1985.
A covert airdrop malfunction leaves C-123 Loadmaster in Sandinista territory. Troop supply by air delivery the next phase in this operation. Agency Operations Manager uses all available resources in locating…setting scenes of interaction between unlikely partners. Opposition forces appear as foreign ideologues and members within the U. S. Administration they serve. A little used document is constructed to reset international and regional diplomacy. The downed American flyer – and other human assets – become pawns in a war of ideology. Some characters find themselves imprisoned within the ideology they serve. Personalities fall and rise. Knights surface in seeking to serve the White House. Others fall as a normal course by their purging. Quote: “In honor or disgrace, death of my adversary is with me forever.”

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Guest Post

The Premise for Constable Outreach 35

“…U. S. agency operates an aviation unit from Honduras during the Contra Revolution in 1985. While on an inaugural mission, a flyer – loadmaster designated a “kicker” – is swept from C-123 Provider aircraft.

The incident occurred during an insurgent re-supply mission. Falling from the aircraft left no time for a parachute to open. His fall cushioned by the freight being supplied to the insurgents. His body mangled and mind unconscious. Sandinista citizen-soldiers lead by a battle-hardened guerilla capture the American.

Initially, he is taken to a farm outside the Nicaraguan town of Jalapa. A Cuban military advisor comes on scene through association with Juanita Maria Perez-Velasquez. Reluctantly, she allows the enemy soldier in her home temporarily. Sandinista ranking officers interrogate their prisoner.

Parallel and intersecting stories unfold with all primary characters in this slice of history story presented in a fictional frame. As he is nurtured back into consciousness, clashes occur between diplomatic partners.

Juanita Perez is further drawn into this historical international thriller. Her son is ‘kidnapped’ by unknown forces. As each character arc is provided, a human-asset trade becomes a necessity. The captured-asset trade is arranged through a Diplomatic Memorandum of Understanding. Its agreement also resets the sides in their military-economic quest for control of the region.

War takes on many faces as countries thrust and parry. All parties finding themselves imprisoned in the ideologies they serve.”

– Jay Cadmus

About the Author

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Jay Cadmus is the author of novels “Anger’s Journey” and “Constable Outreach 35.” He has been a trucker, a teacher, a serviceman, and a salesman.

He is a decorated Combat Airborne Infantry Vietnam veteran, and a veteran Desert Storm Flight Engineer with Air Medal for combat sorties. He has worked as a C-141 Loadmaster in the U.S. Air Force and for three different commercial airlines. He has instructed flight engineers in the Air Force Reserve, in classroom and on aircraft. He has conducted classroom and live fire training in a Combat Arms Unit. He has hauled household goods and taught moving techniques for a major moving company. He has sold real estate and new cars and has written for community newspapers. That diverse experience fuels his singular voice.

“I hope that by writing stories based on history and modified incidents, the reader stops in the middle of reading to ponder. Thinking of what they would have done.

“Learning from my own writing experience, I know the story is given to me to tell. As is true in life, a writer gains more from his mistakes. From that, I know that I can start anew tomorrow. That is, until my tomorrows don’t come anymore.”

Written by Steve Miller, News Writer, New York State

Jay Cadmus | Facebook

Twitter | Linkedin | Constable Outreach 35

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Mini Tour Schedule

March 23rd

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

March 24th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

March 25th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

March 26th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels@gmail.com

March 27th

Kim Knight (Spotlight) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

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Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

If any of you out there like Brandon Sanderson, then you should check out my latest video. It is a reading vlog of his book Skyward and I had quite a time reading this one!

Book Review: A Treason Of Thorns

This was the first book that I read for Harper Collins as part of their blogger program! It was A Treason Of Thorns by Laura Weymouth. I buddy read this with my friend Amanda from booktube!

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Synopsis: Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.

Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.

When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.

Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.

I buddy read this with my friend Amanda and I enjoyed it. It had a very strong feeling of historical fiction mixed with fantasy. The main character was alright but my favorite was Wyn. He was a side character that acted kind of like a sidekick.

The magic represented in this book was really cool because it all came from the Great Houses. The magic was inside the Houses and they kind of acted as if they were humans with real emotions and reactions to things happening around them.

Violet had a strong connection to the house and could communicate in a sense with it. It was cool that she could do that but I found Violet, in general, a little annoying at times and I felt that she could have made better decisions.

There was one part that was really cool because I didn’t expect it and liked that they went in the direction they did. Sometimes a plot needs a little spark to get it progressing at a more likable pace for me.

If you like fantasy and have a strong affection for historical fiction (it reminded me of a very victorian era.), then you would probably like this book since it is very descriptive with all the scenery, building, and outfits etc. and deals with royalty.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Harper Collins in physical format to read and give an honest review.


December is fast approaching and I wanted to make it an extra special month by creating a readathon and have all you bookworms participate! It’s called the Reindeer Readathon and it will be taking place from December 1st to the 31st! It is a team-based readathon and all the prompts you complete will count as points towards your team! The winning team will have one random person win a prize! Full details in the video below!

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Book Spotlight: In The Shadow Of The Hanging Tree

Today I have something a little different for you! This blog tour is for two amazing novels by author, Michael McLellan. I will be sharing my review of “insert book title here”, in addition to excerpts from both books and a giveaway to enter!

32886177In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree

Publication Date: April 26th, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1865 a shadow hovers over the nation: the shadow lingers still…

Born into slavery, Henry’s young life is spent working in tobacco drying sheds on Missouri plantations. Freed at the onset of the Civil War, he’s alone, starving, and on the run from Confederate militiamen.

Five years later, Clara Hanfield, the daughter of a powerful New York shipping magnate, escapes her tyrannical father and travels west in pursuit of John Elliot, the man she loves. John, a U.S. Army lieutenant, was sent to the Dakota Territory where he discovers a government conspiracy to incite an all-out war with the Indians; a war meant to finally eliminate them as an obstacle to the westward expansion.

Henry finds himself caught in the middle.

Aided by Clara, John, and his native ally, Standing Elk, Henry must battle hatred, greed, and the ghosts of his past during this turbulent and troubling time in American history

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Emmet Dawson pulled the crumpled sheets of Henry and Eliza’s free papers from his coat and held them close to his face, squinting. “…Samuel Cromwell.” He held the papers out. “Can you read these?”

Henry averted his eyes. “No, sir,” he lied.

“No, of course you can’t. It’s not only near to impossible to teach a nigger to read but it’s also against the law—God’s and man’s.” He lowered the papers to his side. “These jayhawkers are burning and pillaging their way across our great state. They’re murdering innocent Missouri families in their sleep, then setting niggers loose on the land like a pestilence. That boy’s an orphan. His father, his mother, and his little baby sister were inside the house when it was set fire. They were unable to escape. We found their niggers a few miles away, riding their horses and leading their pigs just like they had the right to. We are at war, Henry. We are at war to save our families and our way of life.”

Emmet turned and looked at Bob. “Hang him with the others.”

Eliza let out an anguished wail and dropped to her knees where she began screaming hysterically. Henry tried to kneel down with her but Bob yanked the rope tight and wrapped it on his saddle horn. This left Henry standing at an awkward lean as he tried not to drag Eliza.

“What about the woman?” Bob asked.

Emmet Dawson looked down at Eliza appraisingly. “Shut her up and tie her to my wagon…and here,” he handed Bob the free papers. “Pin these to his shirt. There aren’t any free niggers in Missouri.” He gave Henry a final stony look then walked into the camp.

Available on Amazon

35618158American Flowers

Publication Date: July 7th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama

*Triggers: Addiction, Abuse, Sexual Assault

Nineteen-year-old Chris Shafer and seventeen-year-old Allie Laughton came from similar backgrounds of neglect and indifference. Chris spent his childhood desperately trying to gain his alcoholic parents’ love. Allie was dragged through an ugly divorce before narrowly escaping being molested by her mother’s new boyfriend.

A chance meeting draws the two together and Allie is quickly caught up in Chris’ new-found lifestyle. Plagued by poor choices, Chris sets into motion a chain of events that drags them deeper into the murky world of meth. Ultimately pursued by both the police and Chris’ volatile tempered drug dealer, Chris and Allie are forced to confront their only real enemy: themselves.

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Excerpt

“You’re poison to that girl. You do see that?”

“We love each other and don’t want to be apart.”

“What do you know about love?” Jan suddenly spat, leaning forward in the easy chair and staring angrily at Chris.

“You listen to me. The only truly unbreakable love is that of a parent for their child. All the other kinds of love, like the kind you and that beautiful young girl in there think you have is fragile and weak, and saddest of all, fleeting. That kind of love can be broken in an instant”—she snapped her arthritis twisted fingers for emphasis, making more of a dry papery sound than a snap. “It can be broken by the smallest of indiscretions, or nothing more than a few poorly chosen words. Mostly it’s just worn away over time like the banks of that creek out there. And it’ll happen so slowly that you never even feel more than a faint tickle at the back of your mind. Oh, it can burn as hot as blue blazes for a moment, but eventually it burns out and leaves something entirely different behind…like the bed of ashes in the bottom of a woodstove after the fire’s gone out. Some folks still insist on calling it love, but it isn’t, not really. It’s obligation, it’s responsibility, it’s apathy. Often it just becomes who you are…what you’re accustomed to. Sometimes it even becomes hate.

Available on Amazon!

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Click HERE for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

About the Author

Mike Author 1

Michael’s love of books began with Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle when he was seven-years-old. Later influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Stephen King, James Baldwin, and Cormac McCarthy, Michael developed his style of storytelling. A self-proclaimed blue-collar writer, he draws on his experiences and observations to bring relevant and compelling topics to life.

Michael lives in Northern California and when he’s not writing, he can usually be found wandering around the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.

His body of work includes the 2014 novel After and Again, the 2015 novel American Flowers, and the 2017 novel, In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, as well as various shorts and essays.

Michael McLellan | Goodreads| Twitter

Michael McLellan2

Blog Tour Schedule

September 16th

Reads & Reels (Review of American Flowers)

http://readsandreels.com

Audio Killed the Bookmark (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

http://audiokilledthebookmark.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

September 17th

I’m Into Books (Review of American Flowers)

https://imintobooks.com

My Bookish Bliss (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree

http://www.mybookishbliss.com

September 18th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

https://breakevenbooks.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review – American Flowers)

https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

The Faerie Review (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

http://www.thefaeriereview.com

September 19th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Al-Alhambra Book Reviews (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://alalhambrabookreviews.home.blog

Loopyloulaura (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

September 20th

Reviews and Promotions by Nyx (Spotlight – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review of American Flowers)

https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Didi Oviatt (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Gwendalyn’s Books (Review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree)

https://gwendalynbooks.blog/

Inked and Blonde (Review – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree/ American Flowers)

https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/


Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


I recently became a part of the Harper Collins Book Blogger group and they sent me my first batch of ARC’s! Watch the video to see what I got!

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Book Highlight: Prince of Secrets and Shadows

Welcome to the blog tour for the highly anticipated follow up novel in The Order of the Crystal Daggers series, Prince of Secrets and Shadows! Please read on for an exclusive excerpt, purchase details, and of course, a fab giveaway to enter!

But wait, there’s more! Today I am also revealing the stunning cover for book #3, Heart of Hope and Fear with a little teaser!

2 Prince of Secrets and Shadows final front cover.jpgPrince of Secrets and Shadows

Publication Date: December 4th, 2018

Genre: YA/ Historical Fiction/ Adventure/ Romance

“How do I know you’re telling me the truth?” The last thing I wanted to do was hurt him, but if I did not find a way to break free of him, I would risk doing even more harm.

Ferdy met my gaze with his. “I promise you this, Ella, that as of now, I will never lie to you again.” He leaned forward and kissed me again, and I stood there, letting him, desperately debating whether I could trust him or not. His promise burned through me, his words scorched into my being. It was so tempting to believe him, more tempting than anything else I had ever faced in all my life.

Freedom was only freedom if I could trust it to be true.

PRAGUE, 1870

After joining the Order of the Crystal Daggers, led by her dauntless grandmother, Lady Penelope, Eleanora Svobodová set out to save her kingdom from oncoming devastation.
And she failed.

Following the attack on Prague Castle, Eleanora is determined to redeem herself. She sets out to win Karl’s trust while distancing herself from Ferdy, whose secrets and lies have done nothing to stop her from falling in love with him. As she struggles to let him go, questions about the mission and her mother’s past cause a rift between Amir and Lady Penelope and add to the growing discord between Eleanora and her brother.
But when a cunning provocateur arrives in Prague, Eleanora discovers there is an even more deadly game afoot, one that reaches into Amir’s past and threatens Lady Penelope’s future. Now, the members of the Order must work together if they are to uncover the true enemy hiding in Bohemia.

Can they work together despite their divisions? Or will their division lead to even more destruction?

With spies, secrets, and suspense, Prince of Secrets and Shadows is the second book in The Order of the Crystal Daggers, a spy adventure series from C. S. Johnson.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

2-prince-of-secrets-and-shadows-final-front-cover-e1552480694169.jpg

“I told you the truth about your grandmother’s past, including some of the secrets she carries,” Harshad said. “But you are still not any more inclined to trust her with your secrets, are you?”

I blushed at his perception and shook my head. “No.”

He nodded. “I thought as much. Trust is a process, especially in a fallen world.”

Perhaps for once, I understood why Harshad wanted me to remain silent while he talked. Everything he said was intentional, designed to tantalize the mind. I was suddenly appalled when I realized how much I had likely missed in our sessions before.

I hoped I would be able to make up for it, after our mission was over.

When he did speak again, it seemed as though ages had passed. “You really are so much like Dezda. I wanted to see for myself how different you are, and that required time.” His voice was much more of a whisper, and I knew he was taking a risk, and letting me know one of his secrets. “I know you are different enough that I can freely admit that I came to regret training Dezda. I did not want to make the same mistake with you.”

“This is not a mistake,” I said, but I felt my resolve weaken. I remembered how Ferdy told me that the Order of the Crystal Daggers was full of assassins, and I had nothing to say in return. He was likely right. I did not know if I was comfortable having the talent to kill someone.

Harshad seemed to agree with my unspoken concerns. “Fighting is contrary to your nature.”

“Being stubborn and contrary is not.” A wry grin appeared on my face, and I was suddenly determined to change the subject. “Besides, Lady Penelope says that Society can only exist when people do things that are unacceptable to save it.”

“That does not mean you must be such a person.”

“I do not agree,” I said. “I am free to see the truth of such a calling, even if it is uncomfortable.”

“This is not what you want.”

I did not know how to respond; Harshad was right. I had my doubts about the Order, about working with people who, as Lady POW said, would fail me.

But I was at the castle when Karl and Lord Maximillian’s attack commenced. If I had done nothing at all, if I had backed away from Lady Penelope’s offer, if I had jumped at the chance to travel abroad and find a husband, or if I had taken enough of her money to start up Liberté with Ben, I would not have been able to save Ferdy.

And he was worth it. Protecting Ferdy was worth it.

Now Available

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

Indigo | Kobo| B&N | Nook

Fireworks

Here is the unbelievably gorgeous cover for book #3 in the series, called Heart of Hope and Fear! I also have a little teaser for you below!

3 Heart of Hope and Fear front cover

“What about the Order?” I hesitated to ask, knowing Amir had painful memories of his own. “I wanted to be free before. Lady Penelope pointed out that this is the opposite of what I wanted. I can’t help but feel she is right.”

“Wanting to be free is not a sin in itself,” Amir told me softly. “Only when that is everything and held to the highest priority is it so. We are loyal to the truth, Eleanora, but the truth is complicated, and freedom can be painful.”

PRAGUE, 1871

In the battle between the past and the present, one girl must stand and fight for the future.

Following Lord Maximillian’s escape and Karl’s disappearance, Eleanora Svobodová and the other members of the Order of the Crystal Daggers have plenty to keep them preoccupied. Just as the Emperor calls for a tripartite council to determine the sovereignty of Bohemia, war breaks out in France, and Lady Penelope prepares the Order to come face to face with their true foe at last.

But then Eleanora discovers the startling truth about her mother’s last mission in Prague.

Can she rescue the prince, save the Emperor, and still protect her friends and family?

Ferdy’s mother narrowed her eyes at me. “I am relieved to hear that you have made such a study of both my sons of late, Lady Eleanora. I confess, I was surprised to hear of your engagement to Karl through the papers.”

“I regret to inform you, Your Highness, that Karl made the arrangements with the papers. I did not agree to an engagement.” I did not need a mirror to know my face had flushed over in red.

“Well, that’s not entirely true,” Ferdy interjected. “Ella has agreed to marry me.”

“What?” Lady Penelope, Empress Maria Anna, and Amir all turned to look at me. The heat in my cheeks exponentially increased.

“I love her, and she loves me,” Ferdy continued, clearly indifferent to how uncomfortable he was making me. It was scandalous that he would love me at all, but the way in which he presented his claim on my heart was more than inappropriate—especially given that we had to find his brother, who was, in the eyes of Society, the one who was rightfully engaged to me. “We would like to speak with the archbishop while we are here.”

“Today?” The empress gaped at him.

“Yes.” Ferdy stepped down from before the throne to stand beside me. He took my hand in his and brought it to his lips.

“Ferdinand … ” Empress Maria Anna looked from Ferdy to me, and then back at her son. She seemed aghast at the idea, and I did not know what to do to calm her fears—if I could do such a thing at all. My own stomach was turning and twisting into knots.

“I have fallen deeply under her spell, Mother, and I would hate to fall even further into scandal and temptation,” Ferdy continued, watching his mother carefully. “It would be such a stain on our family’s virtuous history.”

The former empress blushed as she looked at me, and I was too shocked to assure her Ferdy and I were not engaged in an affair; even if I had, I worried Ferdy would divulge more of our stolen moments together, just vague enough to let everyone assume the worst.

I only felt some measure of relief when Amir gave me a small smile. From where he stood behind Lady Penelope, I could see the somberness as well as the sincerity of his approval.

Suddenly, I did not want to know what Lady Penelope was thinking; I deliberately kept my face turned away from hers.

“It was only a few days ago that my life was endangered as I made my way back to Silesia,” Ferdy said, so smoothly I did not even call him on his lie. “Life is so fragile, Mother, and I have been waiting for Ella for so long.”

He looked back up at his mother, resolved and proud, but still pleading for her approval.

Ferdy had told me once before that I was the one who was more determined between us, but as his fingers curled into mine, in a manner that was both so seductive and yet so innocent, I wondered if he had been lying.

Coming Soon!

Giveaway Time!!!

To win a print copy of Prince of Secrets and Shadows, click on the link below!

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Author-CS-Johnson

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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Blog Tour Schedule

March 18th

Reads & Reels (Excerpt) http://readsandreels.com

The Writer’s Alley (Review) https://www.jacobrundle.com

Llissa’s Bookviews (Review) https://llissasbookviews.wordpress.com/

Scarlett Readz and Runz (Excerpt) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

Yearwood La Novela (Excerpt) https://yearwooddailybookreview.com/

March 19th

Bobo’s Book Bank (Excerpt) http://bobosbookbank.com

Adventures Thru Wonderland (Review) http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/

The Hufflepuff Nerdette (Excerpt) https://thehufflepuffnerdette.wordpress.com

The Bibliophagist (Excerpt) http://thebibliophagist.blog/

March 20th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Excerpt) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

The Cozy Pages (Review) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

Tsarina Press (Excerpt) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

March 21st

J Bronder Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

March 22nd

Jessica Rachow (Review) http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com

Sophril Reads (Excerpt) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


I also released my second video onto book tube yesterday so feel free to watch it here and make sure to like and subscribe if you like it!

Up to 60% OFF on Exquisite European Beads, Create Fashion for EverY Woman!

Book Review: A Land Apart

Hey bookworms! How are you? Tell me in the comments below! I like to keep up to date with you guys.

We have a new review over here at Breakeven Books. This one is called A Land Apart by Ian Roberts.

A Land Apart book lying on a blanket

Synopsis: This gripping story of adventure and courage is set in a magnificent wilderness with the French, English, Iroquois, and Wendat just starting to do battle for what would become the US and Canada. The novel begins with the English pitted against the French, both aggressively claiming the land and resources of North America for themselves. The Iroquois align with the English, the Wendat with the French. The warring conflict between Iroquois and Wendat goes back generations but exists in an uneasy balance until the English sell guns to the Iroquois. Etienne Brulé, a historical character, has lived with the Wendat for 25 years. He knows even if he can get guns for the Wendat, the price everyone will pay in the end will be way too much.

This book was a historical fiction about Etienne Brulé and his dealings with the Wendat. I am normally not very into historical fiction but the way the author told this story had me encaptured since the very start. When they were in life-threatening situations and doing everything they could to survive, I felt my heart pumping faster as I read with the anticipation to know what happens next.

It was very interesting to learn about the Aboriginal culture in the context of interactions between the Wendat and the French and see how they differed in social dynamics. They lived very different lives yet wanted what each other had. The Aboriginals wanted the guns because they saw it as a source of raw power and the French wanted a strong sense of resolve that the Wendat showed in their character.

I would definitely recommend this book to the historical fiction buffs out there. It is worth the read and it has these beautiful black and white illustrations throughout that were done by the author.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.

Sidenote: If you want to support a fantastic literary company, our friends STORGY have a Kickstarter running currently for their Anthology called Shallow Creek. You get cool prizes if you pledge to the project so you should check it out!


Pre-Black Friday Sale (ends Nov 18)