Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout – #BookReview – #contemporaryliteraryfiction @RandomHouse

#1 Best Seller in Contemporary Literature Fiction

Book Blurb:

With her trademark spare, crystalline prose—a voice infused with “intimate, fragile, desperate humanness” (The Washington Post)—Elizabeth Strout turns her exquisitely tuned eye to the inner workings of the human heart, following the indomitable heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton through the early days of the pandemic.

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth StroutAs a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy Barton is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it’s just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea.

Rich with empathy and emotion, Lucy by the Sea vividly captures the fear and struggles that come with isolation, as well as the hope, peace, and possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this story are the deep human connections that unite us even when we’re apart—the pain of a beloved daughter’s suffering, the emptiness that comes from the death of a loved one, the promise of a new friendship, and the comfort of an old, enduring love.

His Review:

Can a loveless abusive childhood lay the cobblestones of life’s road in such a way that nothing changes for the individual? Elizabeth Strout’s character Lucy seems to have developed her character with this pattern in mind. Lucy’s mother was negative and abusive and she grew up defending herself by developing a mother in her own mind that she called her “good mother.”  Her good mother was always caring and lent supportive encouragement to everything she did.

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth StroutLucy’s first husband William is a supportive man, a scientist, with a compassionate heart and protective attitude. With the advent of the Covid Pandemic, he encourages Lucy and him to escape to the clean air and trade winds upon a rocky point in Maine. The weather is always colder, the wind always blowing and the days less predictable. They have escaped New York City to become isolated in a desolate prison of their own making. How could she be happy in this desolation?

William and Lucy do not live together. His affairs early in their marriage had driven a wedge between them that could not easily be withdrawn. They shared a house but with separate bedrooms and an uneasy truce. All conversations are delicately planned which avoids the obvious elephant in the room. His marriage betrayal and additional indiscretions had led her to spread her own affair wings.

Elizabeth Strout is a very gifted writer who did not leave the central theme of her story throughout the read. She develops a character who is hell-bent on being unhappy throughout her life. This centralized dogma thoroughly confounded me as a reader. I have never read such a singularly minded character before. Lucy cannot accept any real progress or happiness in her life although she did have a happy second marriage with a man named David. But he died which added to her misery.

CE WilliamsCould anyone ever complete her as David had seemed to do? Her daughters grew up leading fairly accomplished lives but tended to avoid their mother. The reason was the negative aura surrounding her. Life becomes extremely tedious when every day seems to add more misery to an already dark existence. I kept having the beginning of that old Buck Owens song ring in my mind! “Gloom, despair, and agony on me, deep dark depression, excessive misery…” I believe Elizabeth Strout has developed a very dark and sensitive heroine confronting a noir-esque setting. 3.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

 

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Book Details:

Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction, Literary Sagas, Saga Fiction
Publisher: Random House
ASIN: B09VWWN5BJ
Print Length: 291 pages
Publication Date: September 20, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Lucy by the Sea [Amazon]
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Elizabeth Strout - authorThe Author: Elizabeth Strout is the author of the New York Times bestseller Olive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestseller Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine and New York City.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Enjoy your day

Cosmic Trap: A Clay Wolfe/Port Essex Mystery by Matt Cost – #BookReview – #privateinvestigatormysteries

Book Blurb:

From award-winning author Matt Cost comes a thrilling mystery about Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAP) spotted in the skies over Port Essex, Maine.

Cosmic Trap by Matt CostThe man—about forty, forearms like small oak trees, with a thick beard—told the bartender at the Pelican Perch, “It came right up out of the ocean, hovered just above the water for about ten seconds, and then was gone.”

When Clay Wolfe and Baylee Baker are hired as the local liaisons for a government task force investigating the recent UAP sightings, things get complicated at lightspeed.

They’re also hired to find the missing Alice Smith, whose disappearance increasingly appears to have something to do with the UAPs—the source of which might just be a governmental defense contractor named Seagull Aviation.

But the more they investigate, the more questions pop up. Who is the assassin gunning for Wolfe and Baker? Who is the mysterious man code-named Arrow? When each witness who has seen one of the UAPs is reported missing, the stakes become sky-high.

His Review:

Weird things are happening off the coast of Maine. Bert Snow is heading out to place some lobster traps when a strange electrical phenomenon caused him to collapse. He told his buddies it was a box-like apparatus that seemed transparent and seemed to shimmer and then disappear. Bert was known to enjoy a cocktail or two at the local watering hole and so the entire event was dismissed.

Cosmic Trap by Matt CostBut then additional sightings without any clear description of the object cause concern among the people of this harbor town. The local private detective, Clay, and his sidekick Baylee are called and contracted to investigate these mysterious occurrences. State and federal bureaus become involved which muddies the waters around Maine even further. What is this mysterious object and why aren’t there pictures to confirm the existence of same?

Local inhabitants involved in the search wind up missing or dead. A body found in a stainless steel suitcase leads everyone to consider foul play and the possibility of alien involvement. Every attempt to solve the mystery is thwarted by the state, federal police, and F.B.I. And soon, Clay and Baylee also appear to have become a target.

The author has again wrapped his novel in a shroud of mystery. Every lead turns into a dead end or a coffin. Everyone who investigates these strange occurrences can wind up dead. The closer the investigation, the greater the danger.

As the disappearances and sightings escalate, the mystery deepens and there is a very interesting twist in this novel. The author develops a frightening theory, ramps the tension, and provides a satisfying, engaging, and entertaining novel. Read and enjoy. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

We’ve read several books in this series including most recently Mind Trap and Wolfe Trap before that, each unique, well-paced, thought-provoking and entertaining. This one can be read as a standalone.  Many thanks to the publisher and author for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. Currently on pre-order.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

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Book Details:

Genre: Private Investigator Mysteries
Publisher: Encircle Publications

  • ISBN-10: ‎ 1645994252
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1645994251

ASIN: B0BDM8B9KT
Print Length: 306 pages
Publication Date: December 21, 2022
Source: Direct author request
Title Links: Cosmic Trap [Amazon]
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Matt Cost - authorThe Author: Matt Cost was a history major at Trinity College. He owned a mystery bookstore, a video store, and a gym, before serving a ten-year sentence as a junior high school teacher. In 2014 he was released and began writing. And that’s what he does. He writes histories and mysteries.

“Love in a Time of Hate” is the third historical by Cost. “Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War; At Every Hazard”, was published in 2015, in which Emmett Collins grows into manhood during the Civil War. “I am Cuba” was published in 2020. It was recently awarded the silver award for historical fiction from Kops-Fetherling.

Cost has also published the Mainely Mystery series including “Mainely Power” (the MHC Read ME fiction book of the year), “Mainely Fear”, and “Mainely Money”. The fourth book in the series, “Mainely Angst”, will be published in January of 2022.

He has begun the Clay Wolfe/Port Essex Trap series with “Wolfe Trap” and “Mind Trap” “Mouse Trap” will be published in the spring of 2022 and “Cosmic Trap” in the fall of 2022.

Cost now lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife, Harper. There are four grown children: Brittany, Pearson, Miranda, and Ryan. A chocolate Lab and a basset hound round out the mix. He now spends his days at the computer, writing.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams

V Williams

Dog Friendly by Victoria Schade – #Audiobook Review – #feelgoodfiction

Dog Friendly by Victoria Shade

Book Blurb:

A burned-out veterinarian takes a much-needed beach vacation, where a charming surfer makes waves in her love life, and a unique foster pup renews her passion for her work.

Exhausted veterinarian Morgan Pearce is feeling overworked and under-thanked, so when two favorite clients ask her to watch their special needs senior dog in their Nantucket home, she jumps at the chance for a summer break. She hopes her time on the island will be a reset from the stress of her everyday life, but her chill vacation vibe takes a hit when she gets roped into fostering a challenging, anxious dog and helping plan the local rescue group’s glittery annual fundraiser.

Her trip starts to feel more like a vacation when Morgan begins falling for Nathan Keating, an irresistible entrepreneur who thinks every problem can be solved on a surfboard. Just as the summer is shaping up to be the magical refresh she needs, thanks to a fling that feels like the beginning of something real and Hudson, the foster dog who reminds her how much she loves her job, a visit from her estranged brother and the discovery of who Nathan really is changes everything. Morgan finds herself at a crossroads, trying to determine if mistakes from the past must define the future, or if she should forgive, forget, and grab hold of a chance to finally rescue herself.

My Review:

How can you NOT love that cover? And really, the implied promise is delivered.

Not the first time this year you’ve caught me reading/listening to a romance. I know, I know, but in my defense, I just saw the dogs and read enough to know the storyline included dogs and I’ve been needing a feel-good doggy story.

I’ll bet you didn’t know “Feel-Good Fiction” was a real genre—I certainly didn’t. It’s summer and this is termed a “beach read.” Most definitely as it is located on Nantucket, descriptions of which almost had me packing for a beach read destination of my own.

This novel drips with sweetness–don’t get me wrong—it’s something we all need right now.  

Dog Friendly by VIctoria SchadeThe main character is a burned-out vet and although I’d had no clue being a veterinarian could be so stressful as to actually cause stress-related suicide, I could almost understand the problem of being a corporate vet as a major stress-inducer. Sounds like the same constraints placed on most corporate doctors these days—profit over practice.

But here is Morgan Pearce. She loves the animals. She loves most of the humans who bring their animals in for the expectation of care for their pets. She has seen it all; reactive dogs, lack of training, decent food, inappropriate discipline. It’s no wonder she jumps at the chance to get away and take care of one of her regulars with special needs for the summer. His humans are going on an extended trip and he’ll need the one-on-one care while they’re gone. They have a beautiful place on Nantucket Island, who wouldn’t go? Nope, she won’t go as a vet—she’ll go as a dog sitter/walker.

Okay, here comes the tension: she meets a gorgeous guy selling a proprietary homemade health juice from a push cart. Oh, and he’s a surfer. Did I mention Nathan is gorgeous? And dang—he has a dog! They’ll do dog walks!

And Tension #2: she can’t find a way to say no to a pooch who has been badly misunderstood by his human. He seriously needs to be retrained into being a real proper dog. (She’s now suspected of being one extremely savvy dog walker.) The fun here is the interaction with the dogs, dog personalities, introducing dogs to each other, insights into behavior, and body language.

Morgan’s family background is tenuous and ergo Tension #3 may be the catalyst for the Morgan and Nathan breakup. I’m not one for violins and roses, but this romance is handled pretty well. As a realist, however, I’d have some serious questions about the viability of the relationship.

The conclusion is handled sensitively and probably, for most readers, as expected, but still—it’s nice and I must say a sweet, fast, and engaging read.

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts and I honestly think I’ll look for other titles by this author.

Book Details:

Genre: Feel-Good Fiction, Animal Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley

  • ISBN-10: ‎ 059343739X
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0593437391

ASIN: B09HH3B81R
Listening Length: 8 hrs 29 mins
Narrator: Patti Murin
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Dog Friendly [Amazon]
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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

Victoria Schade - authorThe Author: Victoria Schade has been a dog trainer and writer for over twenty years. During that time her dog duties have included working behind the scenes on Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl as the lead animal wrangler, appearing on two seasons of the Animal Planet show Faithful Friends, and creating dog training content and appearing in educational videos for a variety of pet-centric web sites. Victoria’s favorite way to share her dog knowledge is though her books, whether in a how-to manual like “Bonding With Your Dog” or woven into her novels like “Who Rescued Who” and “Lost Found & Forever.”

Victoria shares her 1850’s always-in- need-of- renovations home with Millie the Smooth Brussels Griffon (who wants you to know that she is not a skinny pug), Olive the mixed breed dog, the occasional foster pup, and her incredibly tolerant husband, Tom.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

happy thursday!

The Ways We Hide by Kristina McMorris – #BookReview – #historicalfiction – @SourcebooksLandmark

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sold On A Monday—over a million copies sold!—comes a sweeping World War II tale of an illusionist whose recruitment by British intelligence sets her on a perilous, heartrending path.

The Ways We Hide by Kristina McMorrisAs a little girl raised amid the hardships of Michigan’s Copper Country, Fenna Vos learned to focus on her own survival. That ability sustains her even now as the Second World War rages in faraway countries. Though she performs onstage as the assistant to an unruly escape artist, behind the curtain she’s the mastermind of their act. Ultimately, controlling her surroundings and eluding traps of every kind helps her keep a lingering trauma at bay.

Yet for all her planning, Fenna doesn’t foresee being called upon by British military intelligence. Tasked with designing escape aids to thwart the Germans, MI9 seeks those with specialized skills for a war nearing its breaking point. Fenna reluctantly joins the unconventional team as an inventor. But when a test of her loyalty draws her deep into the fray, she discovers no mission is more treacherous than escaping one’s past. 

Inspired by stunning true accounts, The Ways We Hide is a gripping story of love and loss, the wars we fight—on the battlefields and within ourselves—and the courage found in unexpected places.

His Review:

Fenna Vos bore a striking resemblance to Hedy Lamarr. Both women were in entertainment. Fenna is an associate of a stage magician. She works to develop escape acts and other performance mysteries. Misdirection is the standard fare for these well-trained escape artists, people able to get out of impossible situations. Fenna is one of the best.

The Ways We Hide by Kristina McMorrisWorld War II finds Fenna working in a clandestine group called MI9. Their objective is to provide ways to help allied prisoners escape Nazi prisoner of war camps. Small hacksaw blades and cutting chains are inserted into such everyday games as Monopoly. The trick is to make the games transparent. The enemy allows such games to come into prison camps to help the detainees pass the time.

Fenna has a second asset to offer. In addition to her escape artist’s abilities; she can speak Dutch, as this was her mother’s native tongue.  She is working on a number of top-secret projects to enable prisoners of war to escape captivity. One very vital tool is the maps to help downed airmen find their way back to friendly territory.

She is inserted into Nazi-controlled Holland to assist the underground. She meets an old flame and finds the family of a very good friend. The friend has a child and the underground works to find a way to get mother and daughter back to allied territory. Regretfully the mother is killed in a Gestapo raid and her child is adopted by a childless German family. This situation is untenable to Fenna and the group in Holland. They work to help extract the young girl and spirit her to England.

This book is based upon some facts recently made public after World War II. Ms. McMorris has pulled together information regarding the female operatives during World War II in a most engaging novel. The success of this lady in a male-dominated world is nothing less than spectacular. The resultant book is a great tribute to the millions of women who worked unheralded and unrecognized during the second world war. 5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

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Book Details:

Genre: British & Irish Literary Fiction, Historical World War II Fiction, World War II Historical Fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ASIN: B09NCNP1KG
Print Length: 573 pages
Publication Date: September 6, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Ways We Hide [Amazon]
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Kristina McMorris - authorThe Author: KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of two novellas and six historical novels, including the million-copy bestseller SOLD ON A MONDAY. The recipient of more than twenty national literary awards, she previously hosted weekly TV shows for Warner Bros. and an ABC affiliate, beginning at age nine with an Emmy Award-winning program, and owned a wedding-and-event-planning company until she had far surpassed her limit of “Y.M.C.A.” and chicken dances. Kristina lives near Portland, Oregon, where she somehow manages to be fully deficient of a green thumb and not own a single umbrella. For more, visit KristinaMcMorris.com.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

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The Last Dollar Princess by Linda Bennett Pennell – #BookReview – #historicalfiction

A Young Heiress’s Quest for Independence in Gilded Age America and George V’s Coronation Year England

Book Blurb:

The Last Dollar Princess by Linda Bennett PennellIt must be said. Scandal follows her family like an ever-faithful hound. No matter how hard they kick it away, it comes slinking around time-after-time. Although her relatives are obsessed with social position and the opinions of others, heiress India Elisabeth Petra De Vries Ledbetter is determined to live life by her own terms, family expectations and society’s demands be damned.

Reared away from the social whirl of Gilded Age New York, India would prefer a life of philanthropy in her native Appalachia, but Mother and Grandmama have far grander plans. They believe Mrs. Astor’s old 400 are ready to overlook the past and that an advantageous marriage will cement their place in society once more. In fact, they have already selected the prospective bridegroom. The only problem? No one consulted India.

With captivating insights into the human spirit and heart, The Last Dollar Princess leads us on a riveting quest for self-determination through the most elegant and glamorous settings of the early 20th century. Perfect for fans of Marie Benedict, Daisy Goodwin, and Julian Fellows, this sweeping work of historical fiction will stay with readers long after the last page is turned. 

His Review:

The Last Dollar Princess by Linda Bennett PennellControlled with an iron fist by her stepmother and grandmother, India grows up in North Carolina where her stepmother wants her to be titled. Her father moved to North Carolina to get away from the oppressive status seekers. Meanwhile, the stepmother takes her to every society ball she can muster to expose India to the elite of both American and English society. Her substantial dowry is the bait.

Charles Kelnsey is looking for a bailout for his ancestral estate. His title attracts her stepmother and so the tale expands. Charlie, as he prefers to be called, is attracted to India, particularly because of her large inheritance. The courtship lags as India realizes that she is a bargaining chip for her stepmother. At nineteen years old she is beginning to rebel against the intrigues that hobble her life. Charlie seems smitten but has not declared his love.

CE WilliamsA trip to Kelnsey manor discloses an 18th century castle without running water, proper electricity or indoor toilet facilities. Additionally, Charlie is still carrying a torch for a woman he met before India. The story is well developed with a satisfactory ending and marvelous character development. Enjoy! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

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Book Details:

Genre: US Historical Fiction, Women’s Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ASIN: B0B2X9ZG4Q
Print Length:335 pages
Publication Date: May 31, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: The Last Dollar Princess [Amazon]
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Linda Bennett Pennell - author
Linda Bennett Pennell – author

The Author: I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to herself or himself, “Let’s pretend.”

I currently reside in the Houston area with my sweet husband and a German Shorthaired Pointer who thinks she’s a little girl.

Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Painting with Fire (Bold Women of the 17th Century Series Book 3) by Amanda Hughes – #BookReview – #culturalheritagefiction

Happy Release Day!

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Painting with Fire by Amanda HughesFrom the bestselling author of The Bold Women Series:
Québec 1690—Penniless and covered with burns, Véronique Barbeau sells sex to sailors and voyageurs at a dockside tavern in New France. The daughter of an illustrious artist, she’d once had it all: a loving family, a home in Paris, and a gift for painting, but a spurned lover changed everything. After being slighted by Véronique’s father, the young man sought revenge by setting fire to the family home, killing her mother, her sister, and scarring Véronique for life. Distraught, she immigrated to Québec with her father, but within months he was dead, leaving her alone and destitute in a port city halfway around the world.
Yet she would not be defeated. Véronique would rise again, fighting her way to the top, becoming one of the most celebrated artists in all of France. But she cannot rest until she unearths the horrifying truth about what really happened the night of the blaze.
Join Amanda Hughes as she sweeps you back to a time when monarchs ruled the world, tall ships sailed the seas, and quarrels were settled with swords.

My Review:

Map of New France
Map of New France territory approx 1750. Map attribute: Chalkboard Publishing

The author has done it again with her third book in the Bold Women Series, this one of the 17th century. I just love these tales from the Renaissance forward. In this entry, we are introduced to New France, the holding of which was a great deal larger than I remembered.

Quebec, Canada
Quebec, Canada. Map attribute: Wikipedia

In 1686 Véronique Barbeau found employment in Québec, New France at the Siren and Serpent Tavern as a fille de joie. Unfortunately, this is her last resort after losing her family, home in Paris, and lover, Rainier Laurent Delacroix. Her father, Monsieur Henri Frederik Barbeau, an artist of some renown, escaped with her from the bloody inferno in Paris that left her deeply scarred for life.

What is left to her is the innate talent of her father. She uses the gift with her limited free time and money to continue the legacy.

Painting with Fire by Amanda HughesWhile dealing with the clients, Véronique burns with the need to discover the truth of what happened. She is an attractive, strong woman who is determined to find restitution while hiding the evidence (in the voluminous clothing of the day) of the horrific event that changed her life.

Once again, the extent of the research by the author of the time and location is evident in the description of how the ladies dealt with the subjects of disease, birth control, and protection.

When she meets Gilles, a cartographer of questionable sexual proclivities and nobility, her life takes an exciting turn. Gilles, however, is multi-layered and for some time, she only sees one. They leave on an extended mapping quest into unchartered Indian territory, including the Chippewa. (I grew up with tales of a grandmother born on a Chippewa reservation in then “Indian Territory.” Knowing her and looking at her picture, it wasn’t difficult to imagine until our son provided my DNA test proving she was not one-half Native American.)

Besides the beautifully described locations, both in New France and Paris, the history, the period costumes, decorum, vernacular, and Renaissance-driven art concepts, there is the glaring inequality of the sexes and frontier justice.

It is well plotted and paced and creates flights of the imagination. The characters are well drawn and provide portions of resolution and conflict as well as plenty of action and subtle and crafty twists.

Finding inspiration in stories of real persons to populate the era provided many a solid character and realistic backgrounds. The author is a master storyteller. This is Book 3 of the 17th Century Series. I also read Book 1, The Firefly Witch and Book 2, The Sea Bandits. Each of the novels can be read as a standalone, so don’t worry where you come in to the series, whether 17th, 18th, 19th, or 20th Centuries. They are all engaging and entertaining.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts and it’s heartily recommended.

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Book Details:

Genre: Cultural Heritage Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lillis and Jaymes
ASIN: B0BCKVW93X
Publication Date: September 12, 2022
Source: Author contact
Title Link: Painting with Fire [Amazon]

 

Amanda Hughes - authorThe Author: Bestselling and award-winning author, Amanda Hughes is a “Walter Mitty”, spending more time in heroic daydreams than the real world. At last, she found an outlet writing adventures about bold women through the centuries. Well known for her genre-busting books, she is the winner of the Gems National Medal for Writing, featured in USA Today and is nominated for the 2017 Minnesota Book Award. Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and when she isn’t off tilting windmills, she lives and writes in Minnesota. Don’t miss these page-turning novels for readers who like historical fiction with a just bit of a love story. All of her books are stand-alone and can be read in any order.

The Bold Women of the 17th Century: The Firefly Witch Book 1

The Bold Women Series of the 18th Century: Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry Book 1 The Pride of the King Book 2 The Sword of the Banshee Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 19th Century: The Grand Masquerade Book 1 Vagabond Wind Book 2 The House of Five Fortunes Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 20th Century: The Looking Glass Goddess Book 1

Interested in her new books or a free novelette? Go to http://www.amandahughesauthor.com

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Half Notes from Berlin by B V Glants – #BookReview – #historicalfiction

Book Blurb:

Berlin, 1933. Hans believes he and his family are safe from persecution.

Half Notes from Berlin by BV GlantThen, he discovers his family’s dirty secret: his maternal grandparents were Jews who converted to Christianity.

Driven by the desire to understand who he is and whether his mother’s blood really is tainted, Hans befriends Rebecca, the only Jewish girl he knows. Perhaps if Jewish blood isn’t evil, his mother will be ok.

To be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany is dangerous. But to fall in love with one is unthinkable.

Desperate to keep both his family’s true heritage and his love for Rebecca a secret, Hans attempts to navigate this terrifying new world. He’s disconsolate when his Jewish mother is kicked out from the Berlin Conservatory. He’s disgusted by his Aryan father’s aims to acquire Jewish business on the cheap.

Worst, he must watch helplessly as his classmates target Rebecca with increasing violence and malice.

But when his school announces it will expel Jewish students, Hans is determined to fight for Rebecca — and for the lives and souls of his family.

His Review:

Young love is always passionate and heartfelt. Germany in the early 1930s was not the time for a young boy to fall in love with a Jewish girl. She was born in Germany and attended the Lutheran Church but that mattered not to the Third Reich. Her grandparents were German Jews and that meant she had tainted blood. Rebecca is the smartest girl in the school as well as the prettiest. Hans has loved her since their second year in school and they became inseparable.

Half Notes from Berlin by BV GlantHis grandparents were also Jewish, but his parents disavowed any connection with that heritage. His mother looked like her father, a perfect white Arian young man, and therefore the family was considered pure German.

The rise of the Third Reich caused a schism in Germany prior to WWII. The Jews were bankers and moneylenders because it was against the Christian religion to either borrow or lend. Therefore, the Jews controlled the banks and set the rates for borrowing.

Survival of any Jew in the Third Reich though meant immigrating to Israel or another country. Rebecca and her family left Germany because of the ban on doing any business with Jewish-owned businesses or banks.

Because the way to become accepted in German society for a young man was to join the Hitler Youth, Hans had no choice but to join and wear the uniform. His love for a Jewish girl, however, was ridiculed throughout middle school. He enters the military but the love of his life is gone. He is wounded during the 2nd World War and decorated many times but he never forgot his first love.

CE WilliamsA well-plotted and paced narrative with emotional themes and unrequited love during war time. It is an interesting but sad saga. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Jewish Literature, Historical German Fiction, Jewish Historical Fiction
Publisher: Anchor Media
ASIN: B0B9BNBZHD
Print Length: 256 pages
Publication Date: October 4, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Half Notes from Berlin [Amazon]
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B V Glants - authorThe Author: B.V. Glants was born in Soviet Ukraine and immigrated with his family to suburban New Jersey when he was ten years old. Raised on family stories ranging from his grandparents’ fight for survival in WW2 to his parents’ confrontations with Soviet antisemitism, he now lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and daughter.

B.V. Glants is a lay leader at a Jewish day school, a Wexner Heritage Program member, and a technology entrepreneur, most recently having cofounded Tonic Health (sold to R1, NASDAQ:RCM) and Turnkey Labs. That hasn’t stopped him from earning an MFA at California College of the Arts and attending writers’ conferences at Squaw and Sewanee. He writes historical fiction from a Jewish perspective, focusing on how major historical events challenge and transform the lives of everyday families. Half Notes from Berlin is his first published novel.

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