Books

#NetGalley #BookReview The Clockmaker’s Daughter A Novel by Kate Morton #HistoricalFiction #Mystery #Paranormal

Review

Clockmaker's Daughter Cover

The Clockmaker’s Daughter A Novel

by Kate Morton

Release date: October 9th, 2018

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Clockmaker’s Daughter A Novel by Kate Morton from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada in order to read and give an honest review.

… intricately woven into an absorbing, entertaining and hauntingly beautiful novel…

Kate Morton skillfully creates an epic gothic tale, intricately woven into an absorbing, entertaining and hauntingly beautiful novel that in my opinion is perhaps one of her best. The Clockmaker’s Daughter is so complex it’s difficult to summarize, there are layers upon layers of historical detail, mystery, love and loss with a touch of paranormal. 

The story follows multiple characters, shifting through different periods of time spanning from the 1860’s to the present day, all intertwined and connected to Birchwood Manor by the Thames.  One thing I love about Kate Morton’s work is she creates such fascinating and multifaceted characters with atmospheric settings that draw you into the story from the beginning. Each character is unique, the female characters strong and intelligent. In The Clockmaker’s Daughter, all of the characters are brilliant but one voice stands out for me, Birdie. We learn first-hand about her traumatic life, tragic death and her thoughts and feelings on both.

The story opens with London archivist Elodie Winslow, cataloguing the archives of James Stratton when she happens across a mysterious leather satchel containing a photograph of a stunning Victorian woman and a sketch of a mysterious house by the river. Elodie instantly feels connected to the items and is compelled to discover the origins of the house which is eerily similar to a house in a bedtime story her mother used to tell her before she died. Despite being in the middle of planning a wedding Elodie is determined to see whether it is, in fact, the house contained in the stories from her childhood. During her investigation, she discovers the satchel belongs to the artist, Edward Radcliffe and the photo is of his muse and secret love Lily and Elodie becomes obsessed with uncovering their story and is driven to visit Birchwood Manor.   The Manor’s incarnations include Edward Radcliffe’s artist’s retreat, a school for young ladies, home to a widow with three young children, the inspiration for a student’s thesis and lastly a museum dedicated to the artist Edward Radcliffe. Birchwood Manor, in some ways, seems to become a character in itself, the house seems to have a distinct personality. In each of its incarnations, the house holds a special space in each of the occupants’ hearts as well as concealing secrets in its walls about tragic events that occurred during the summer of 1862 which include murder, betrayal and loss.

I absolutely loved this book, it is not for those who are looking for a fast-paced page-turner, it definitely requires patience but it is a slow but satisfying read that is worth it and one I would highly recommend!

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Books

#Book #Review – Daily #Writing Resilience 365 Meditations & Inspirations for Writers by Bryan Robinson

 

Review

Daily Writing Resilience

365 Meditations & Inspirations for Writers

by Bryan Robinson

Release date: January 8th, 2018

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Daily Writing Resilence


I received a complimentary ARC copy of   Daily Writing Resilience ~ 365 Meditations & Inspirations for Writers by Bryan Robinson PhD from NetGalley & Llewellyn Publications in order to read and give an honest review.

I loved this book and found it to be incredibly motivational. Bryan Robinson’s inspirational book is a daily devotional for writers. Daily Writing Resilience offers a writer 365 days of prompts and advice, sure to help get their creativity flowing. The book is dated containing daily quotes, valuable snippets of wisdom and what the author calls “Today’s Takeaway” which are tips to help any writer be the best they can be.  It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned writer, battling writer’s block or just starting to get your feet wet, I would definitely recommend Daily Writing Resilience to anyone looking for motivation.

Books

#Book #Review of The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross (The Curious Affair Of #2) by Lisa Tuttle #Victorian #Mystery #Paranormal

 

Review

The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross

(The Curious Affair Of #2) 

by Lisa Tuttle

Release date: November 28th, 2017

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Book Cover The Witch at Wayside Cross


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross (The Curious Affair Of #2) by Lisa Tuttle from NetGalley & Random House Publishing Group – Hydra in order to read and give an honest review.

This is the second entry in the “Jesperson and Lane Casebook/Curious Affair of ” series by Lisa Tuttle. Although I haven’t read the first book, this book works well as a stand-alone and I have added the first, The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief (The Curious Affair Of #1) to my TBR pile.  Personally, I  thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was a fast-paced, and fun Victorian mystery, reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes but with a touch of the paranormal.

The book opens with Charles Manning, a disciple of Felix Ott’s British School of Wisdom collapsing and dying in the London home of colleagues and private detectives, Jesperson and Lane.  Manning arrives at the house just after 1am in a state and before his death declared that he was being hunted by witches which with his last breath he accuses Miss Lane of being.  His death at first appears to be of natural causes but as with most good mysteries, that of course, is not the case.  Jesperson and Lane convince Mr. Manning’s brother that not all is as it seems, and they are hired to find out who or what truly killed his brother.  Manning’s research of the “Shriek pits, a phenomenon prevalent in folklore had him staying in Aylmerton, Norfolk. The Author Lisa Tuttle manages to create interesting well-developed characters who drive the plot forward and keep you entertained.  Following Manning’s timeline before his death, Jesperson and Lane travel to Norfolk to retrace his steps in the process meet some interesting characters, including the Ringer family and the infamous Buslstrode sisters at Wayside Cross.  The three unmarried sisters are wise-women or healers, but some are convinced they are witches. The story is full of twists and turns, from uncovering previous murders to a stolen baby and the curious disappearance of the distraught mother. There are clever red herrings and plotlines that whisper of magic, fairies, poison rings and an undecipherable grimoire all of which culminate in a fantastic twist at the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a well-written, cleverly crafted, quirky and fun mystery. If you enjoy Sir Conan Arthur Doyle or Agatha Christie I would recommend giving this a try.

Books

#Book #Review of The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2) by Anne Rice & Christopher Rice #Horror #Sci Fi & #Fantasy

 

Review

The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2)

by Anne Rice & Christopher Rice

Release date: November 21st, 2017

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Passion of Cleopatra Cover


I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2) by Anne Rice & Christopher Rice from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

I read the first book, The Mummy (Ramses the Damned) about twenty years ago and was surprised to find out about a sequel.  Although I chose not to reread The Mummy, The Passion of Cleopatra works well as a stand-alone which is saying a great deal about the authors’ abilities to craft an engaging series.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Passion of Cleopatra (Ramses the Damned #2), it did take me a while to get into, however, after a few chapters it grabbed me and I devoured it in a day. Although there seemed to be quite a few characters, I feel they all added to the story and it slowly unfolded into an amazing adventure that kept me turning the pages.  Multiple intertwining plotlines run throughout the book and join at the end for a thrilling and very satisfying conclusion.

The story opens in Jericho 3600 B.C.E. then jumps everywhere from Cairo in 1914 to Edwardian England. Not to give too much away, the story’s focus is on the consequences that arise as a result of a magical elixir which grants immortality. The main plotlines all have this elixir at their core, albeit for different reasons.  Although there are quite a few characters, they are all unique and dynamic, each helping to drive the plot along. Reginald Ramsey also known as, Ramses the Great and his fiancé Julie, are involved in a life or death battle after Ramses uses the elixir to raise his former lover, an already dead and mummified Cleopatra.   What extended the life of both Ramses and Julie reacts very differently on the already deceased Cleopatra, especially when her soul has passed on to another…which, we get glimpses of in another plotline. The author also gives us a battle between two very ancient powers, one the originator of the elixir and her nemesis who holds a corrupt version but ruthlessly hunts for the original formula in order to create a kingdom of immortals.

All in all, this book was a great read and I would definitely recommend it.  I really enjoyed the collaboration between Anne Rice and her son Christopher and I hope to see book three in the not too distant future.

Books

Honoring #Military #Veterans via @CSWCLynn

On 11 November 2017, there will be countries that will remember Veterans or their fallen soldiers. In the U.S., Veterans’ Day honors Veterans. In other countries it is called Remembrance Day or Armistice Day. If you wish to learn more about the history and reasons you can visit: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/history-of-veterans-day

CSWCLLC logo by Grindhouse Media

The founding members of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC have decided to reduce the price of their second novel, Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Wings of Eagles, in honor of U.S. Veterans’ Day. Some of the main characters are based on real people who were U.S. Military Veterans, such as themselves.

CSWCWOE via Amazon

In the series, the main characters are all former military whose careers led them into some form of Special Forces. They eventual formed a team of CIA special operators. By book two, Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Wings of Eagles, this team is no longer part of the CIA. They are part of a private company that does high-end security. One of their assignments was to shore up the security of their hometown. Events unfold, which were out of the team’s control, and sent their hometown on a collision course with Evil.

If your interest is piqued then why not check out the series:

https://www.amazon.com/David-McKoy/e/B0051LMR54/

If you are on a tight budget, the prices might be just what you are looking for. However, if you are looking for a paperback book for a loved one who served or for any other reason, each book has that option as well. If you look closely, you might be able to get an eBook and a print book.

If you are outside of the U.S. and prefer alternate options, then here are the links that should take you to the nearest Amazon Marketplace:

Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Storm Warning: myBook.to/CSWCSW

Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Wings of Eagles: myBook.to/CSWCWOE

Genesis: Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Slice of Life: myBook.to/GenesisCSWCSOL

Lynn Hallbrooks

David McKoy and Lynn Hallbrooks founded Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC in 2010. In January of 2011, the first book went live on Amazon. They hope that their books will both educate and entertain.

To learn more about them, you can visit their website: http://cswcllc.weebly.com/

 

Books

Review of Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

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Review

Two Nights

by Kathy Reichs

Release date: July 11th, 2017

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Two Nights by Kathy Reichs from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada in order to read and give an honest review.

Kathy Reichs, famous for her Temperance Brennan, Forensic Anthropologist series has created a new stand-alone book; “Two Nights” a huge departure from her previous books.  The protagonist in “Two Nights” is Sunday “Sunnie” Night, a former soldier and police officer who, after being injured in the line of duty, has decided to start a new life for herself, isolated from others.  When Sunnie gets called upon by her old friend and mentor Beau to help locate a missing teenager, she is about to embark on a journey she didn’t expect.

Beau introduces Sunnie to elderly socialite Opaline Drucker who hires Sunnie to locate her granddaughter Stella. Stella was kidnapped after her mother and brother were both killed in a terrorist bombing and no one is sure whether she is still alive. Although hesitant Sunnie reluctantly leaves her isolated island home to rescue Stella and travels to Chicago to follow her trail.  The more Sunnie discovers about Stella’s situation the more it stirs up trauma she thought she buried years ago and she makes it her mission to rescue her at all costs. After several close calls and a race against time, Sunnie enlists the help of Gus, one of the few she can trust and ends up placing them both in peril.

I really enjoyed Two Nights, it is an action-packed, engaging, fast-paced thriller that won’t disappoint.  Sunnie is a multi-faceted character who carries a lot of baggage with much to overcome, yet is strong, sassy and sarcastic.  Although it took me a while to warm up to her by the end I found myself rooting for Sunnie. This book was a brave departure from Reichs’s usual novels in both story and style and I really do hope Reichs continues to share Sunnie’s story.

My recommendation to fans new and old to go into this with an open mind, you won’t be disappointed.