The House of Five Fortunes by Amanda Hughes – a #BookReview #rosepointpub

You know I’m a huge fan of author Amanda Hughes and her Bold Women Series. She writes her historical novels with such sensitivity and emotion. If you are not familiar with this author, your time has come.

5-stars

The House of Five Fortunes by Amanda HughesThe House of Five Fortunes (Bold Women of the 19th Century Series Book 3) by Amanda Hughes

Book Blurb:

While Xiu peddled pipe dreams, a nightmare was waiting.
Sensual and exotic, San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1870’s was filled with temptation and greed. Raised in this quagmire of vice, Xiu Jung caters to wealthy thrill-seekers with her elegant opium den, The House of Five Fortunes. With the help of Madison Hayes, the illustrious actor, she makes it the most fashionable salon on the West Coast. But a string of murders is sweeping the city, coming closer and closer to Xiu. Madison said he would protect her, but could this mysterious outsider be trusted?
From Chinatown to Deadwood, Amanda Hughes once again takes you on a page-turning adventure of a lifetime.

My Review

I can’t imagine the time this author spends in her research of these time periods and specifically the people of this 1867-1876 narrative regarding the Chinese community in San Francisco. The eldest of the three children of foster parents Day, Xiu (she-you) was often called upon to help with her two younger siblings, her own sister Lei, and Peter, an issue of both the pastor and Dolly Day.

Her mother had set up a thriving business and when Xiu lost both foster parents, took over raising her sister and brother as well as work in the House. Later with successful but mysterious actor Madison Hayes who financially backs a remodel, they create an exclusive and fashionable salon. Unfortunately, as her siblings’ age, they each become problems about the same time anti-Chinese sentiment begins to manifest in overt hostilities.

The author weaves such a dramatic tale of the old west, San Francisco in the height of the Barbary Coast days (from which many a sailor was shanghaied), when brothels, gambling dens, opium houses, and saloons went wild with sailors disembarking in search of good times and the gold strikes burgeoned the city with a population ill-prepared to handle the growth. Chinatown had long looked to protection from the two major tongs in power. Fashions evolved, hotels built with opulence in mind catered to the wealthy, and commerce was exploding. The atmosphere of the city is laid open, raw with the sights, smells, and the cacophony of development.

A crisis with Peter forces a change in direction from which recovery may not be capable, but evolves the relationship with Michael–another very dangerous development. The reader is immersed with the engaging and well-developed characters, both main and support characters, the strongly atmospheric tale swirling in your head, creates the mind-movie. It’s easy to become so involved, you are holding your breath. Dialogue pulses with accent nuance and the reader becomes totally invested. A favorite quote said by her father to Xiu:

“I’m not in charge of the light inside you, Xiu. You are. Don’t wait for someone else to come along and light your lamp.”

I received this well-plotted and fast-paced ebook download from the author with no expectation of a review, although it’s a book I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to share. In fact, I also shared it with my associate reviewer and the CE loved it as well. Now it’s up to you.

His Review

The House of Five FortunesTranscontinental railroad work attracted immigrants from many parts of the world. Pastor and Dolly Day were a couple who followed the construction and proselytized to the construction crews. Our protagonist, a Chinese immigrant child and her sister were adopted by the Days after a tragic fire killed their parents. The world was a wide-open cold mountainous area for the children.

Xiu as well as all of the associated characters in this novel are well developed and loved and admired or despised and castigated. The strength and fortitude of character is beautiful to behold. Recognition of the characters and their attraction brings to light the pathos of the situation.

Going from “end of the rails towns” up the western side of the Sierra Nevada the foster children stayed with their parents. Dolly Day had learned how to run a business as a madam and was very good at it. The plight of the Chinese immigrants as the tunnels were carved in the Sierra Nevada mountains was a terrifying and dangerous life. Blasters were lowered on ropes from the higher areas and drilled holes and then filled them with black powder prior to signaling to be pulled up. Sometimes the crew pulling them up was not quick enough and the explosion would kill the blast workers.

Prejudice was rampant and marrying between whites and Asians was strictly forbidden. The Chinese could not mix with the whites and had to eat and sleep in separate quarters. After the completion of the railroad, the Chinese workers were not even allowed to ride the trains home they had helped build, and many areas in San Francisco forbid the Chinese immigrants from entering.

Amanda Hughes paints a very enlightening picture of the turmoil and struggles of these Chinese adopted children in the California frontier. The few Chinese women in California were relegated to whore houses or areas strictly segregated with Chinese. This book is a treasure of enlightened understanding of the early years in California and the hatred and prejudice toward the Chinese.

The House of Five Fortunes is an opium den where Dolly Day is able to establish a thriving business. The girls learn to read and write English and are not familiar with their native language. Many twists and difficult times face these young girls. They are treated with respect by the Chinese but segregated from the white population who would rather they went back to China. Associate Reviewer - C E Williams

This book is an excellent example of the trials that were endured by many groups; Irish, Italians, Germans and of course the Chinese. The humanity that Amanda writes into her historical novel puts this tale into a class of history which every schoolchild should read. I came away with a feeling of sorrow and amazement at the resilience of these early ethnic groups. This five-star read has a terrific moral! 5/5 stars C.E. Williams 

Book Details:

Genre: Multicultural and Interracial Romance, Asian American Literature and Fiction
Publisher: Lillis and Jaymes

  • ISBN-10:1535367385
  • ISBN-13:978-1535367387
  • ASIN: B01L7BW79M

Print Length: 325 pages
Publication Date: August 28, 2016
Source: Author request
Title Link: The House of Five Fortunes

+Add to Goodreads 

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandahughesauthor/

Twitter: @amandahughesauthor

©2019 V Williams V Williams

Advertisements

Never Ever by Willow Rose – a #BookReview

A new review from my Associate reviewer. The CE discovers author Willow Rose.

Never Ever by Willow RoseNever Ever (Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Book 3) by Willow Rose

Book Blurb:

Former FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas returns in Willow Rose’s most nail-biting thriller yet.

Ex-agent Eva Rae Thomas is on the run. The past month she has done things she never knew she was capable of while hunting for her kidnapped daughter.

Eva Rae has risked everything,

-her career,

-her newfound love,

-her freedom.

She’s looking for the man they call the Iron Fist. The trail has led her to Miami.

Meanwhile, Miami is under attack. Hundreds of passengers in the Metrorail are exposed to a deathly nerve gas on a peaceful Monday morning. When Eva Rae Thomas sees her daughter on the surveillance footage from the attack, she knows it is no coincidence. But by the time she uncovers the chilling truth of how it is all connected, it might be too late.

NEVER EVER is the third book in the Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone.

His Review

My first experience with this author and series, but I feel it works well as a standalone. The characters are well-developed and believable.

Never Ever by Willow RoseHuman trafficking in young girls is big business in South Florida. When Olivia, the teenage daughter of former (protagonist) FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas is abducted, a frantic hunt begins. Meanwhile, a Seren gas attack on a subway causes panic in the Miami area and hinders the search.  Unidentified young girls are among the victims on the train.

A second attack occurs at a Roman Catholic Church and surveillance footage shows Olivia!

This book is fast-moving and at times aggravating in the near misses in finding and recovering Olivia. Dialogue is intelligent and the well-plotted mystery moves at a fast pace but I did not fully understand how her daughter came to be vulnerable to kidnap, only that she had.

Associate Reviewer - C E WilliamsA twist at the conclusion dispels illusions and preconceptions of the actual organization.  A roller-coaster read with many tosses and turns. The ending is totally unexpected.

This ebook was downloaded free from BookBub with no expectation of a review and this is my honest opinion. 4.5/5 Stars  CE Williams

Book Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Police Procedurals, Mystery Romance

Publisher: BUOY MEDIA

  • ISBN-10:1071411705
  • ISBN-13:978-1071411704
  • ASIN: B07SNQNGQH

Print Length: 357 pages

Publication Date: August 25, 2019

Source: Publisher and BookBub

Title Link: Never Ever

+Add to Goodreads 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four Point Five of Five Stars 4.5-stars

Willow Rose - authorThe Author: *NEW RELEASES*:
☞ – Don’t Lie To Me (Eva Rae Thomas Mystery-series #1) Just released!
☞ – What You Did (Eva Rae Thomas Mystery-series #2) – Just released!
☞ – Never Ever (Eva Rae Thomas #3) – Just released!
☞ – Say You Love Me (Eva Rae Thomas #4) – preorder today!

Willow Rose is a multi-million-copy best-selling Author and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 70 novels. Her books are sold all over the world.

She writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.

Willow’s books are fast-paced, nail-biting page-turners with twists you won’t see coming. That’s why her fans call her The Queen of Scream.

Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 10 of ALL books in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than three million books all over the world.

Willow lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Connect with Willow online:

http://www.facebook.com/willowredrose

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4804769.Willow_Rose
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/willow-rose

Sign up for Willow’s VIP email list, and you’ll automatically be notified as soon as her next book is released: http://www.willow-rose.net

Inbox already stuffed? Send the word: “ebooks” to 31996 to get a text alert with news about new releases, giveaways, and bargains from Willow.

Books by WILLOW ROSE:

Say You Love Me by Willow RoseEva Rae Thomas Mystery Series:
– Don’t Lie To Me (Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Book 1)
– What You Did (Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Book 2)
Never Ever (Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Book 3)
Say You Love Me (Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Book 4 will be released Sept 30, 2019)

She also wrote 4 in the Mary Mills Mystery Series, 7 in the Jack Ryder series, 10 in the Rebekka Franck Mystery Series (of which I read two), and 12 in the Emma Frost Mystery Series.

©2019 CE Williams/V Williams

The Forbidden Door – a #BookReview – #greatreads

The Forbidden Door by Dean KoontzTitle: The Forbidden Door (A Jane Hawk Novel) Book 4 by Dean Koontz

Genre: Currently #60 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense

Publisher: Bantam – Random House LLC

Publication Date: To be released September 11, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Forbidden DoorCompelling colors, interesting face, same model as book covers 2 and 3(?) but I don’t see here a vision of the “real” Jane Hawk.

Okay, yes, I didn’t read book 1 but I did read books 2 and 3 and I must say if Book 2 hooked you, Book 3 stayed the course, Book 4 absolutely cements you into Hawk’s boots. They are kick-ass boots worn by a quick-witted, intelligent ex-FBI agent gone rogue. She’s mad.

Not mad, furious.

She’s tough, intuitive, and on an urgent mission as book 3 ended with a call from her son, Travis…his guardians are missing. Continue reading “The Forbidden Door – a #BookReview – #greatreads”

#ThrowbackThursday – Mornings in Two Pan – B. K. Froman

#ThrowbackThursday - spring

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

This week I am highlighting B. K. Froman, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Mornings in Two Pan, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written three in this series. This novel was published by Morning West Publishing on June 29, 2014. She consistently runs approximately 4.2-5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 18, 2016

mornings-two-panBook Blurb:

What if everything you know about your family is only half of the truth?

Every small town has its curiosities and conflicts. For Jiggs Woolsey, the most disturbing mystery is the identity of the buried skull he digs up on his Oregon ranch. Warned not to turn it in, he seeks answers about the five generations of his family who’ve previously worked the acres. His father and the cantankerous old-timers of the fizzled-out community of Two Pan will teach him the hard way that they’re not ready to give up their secrets yet.

My Review:

Yes, you got me! Busted!

I downloaded this free offering on BookBub (thank you!) solely based on that fascinating cover, and you’ll be glad to know that the cover perfectly describes the book without saying one word. If you loved the cover, you’ll love this folksy, down-home bit of western Americana. No really, would I lie to you?

Froman couldn’t have just created these characters–they’ve been so completely fleshed out–she must have been a fly on the wall of this family, recording some amazing bits of dialogue. Three generations (all male, two of which are widowers) living in a dusty, gritty, small town of rural eastern Oregon confront a historical family matter that was long since buried. This one grabs you from the beginning with the discovery of the skull in a creek bed on their property. And then in that slow, out west type of tale-weaving, creates the train wreck for which you are drawn like moth to flame. And, amazingly, you’ll like it. (Trust me.)

Unfortunately, Ox (Gramps) has increasing age-related health problems. He is met by his son with the startling discovery of the skull on their five generation cattle ranch that quickly has his son questioning all he’d believed about their family origins. The mystery sets off a powerful character study.

Jiggs doesn’t understand his dad and is bull-headedly trying to get to the truth. Jiggs’ son, Nap, is caught between the warring factions of father and grandfather and seems the most level-headed of the three. Unfortunately, he is too young to have sufficient experience in dealing with family issues he doesn’t understand and was never privy to. The story gradually unfolds the mystery, secondary to the relationship crisis the artifact has created.

The people who make up this little town ring true, the connections between long-time residents and philosophies compelling and telling. The writing is almost too simple, but sometimes less is more. When the conclusion comes and the revelation exposed, it’ll be one you won’t have guessed, satisfying but sorta tragic. (Well, duh, it’s a skull.)

But worth it? Oh yeah…

Take off your boots, find some shade, and enjoy this extremely well-written and emotional piece of old family literature, peppered with humor and satire. This is one of my favorite books in the 2016 Reading Challenge. A solid Five Stars

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

B. K. Froman - authorB.K. Froman is an award-winning writer, radio/TV talent, and university educator who now lives outside of Portland Oregon after spending several decades in Oklahoma. Her works continue to capture a thoughtful and sensitive look at people in small towns and as she preserves a small slice of Americana that is quickly fading. The 2013 Clackamas Literary award winner in Short Works, Froman uses wry humor and clever dialogue to remind her readers that life is—all about change.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

©2018 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Quinn Checks In – L. H. Thomson

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ve read a wide variety of genres and gleaned most early freebies from BookBub. Renee would love you to join the fun, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Quinn Checks In by L H ThomsonThis week I am highlighting L H Thomson, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Quinn Checks In, Liam Quinn Mysteries Book 1, which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written eleven books in this series. This novel was published by J I Loome on July 24, 2014. He consistently runs approximately four plus stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted September 7, 2014

Book Blurb:

Warning: this novel contains strong language and violence.

Released after serving four years in a Federal pen for art forgery, former boxing prodigy Liam Quinn returns to Fishtown in Philadelphia, eager to restart his life and make amends. A family friend has arranged a job as an art detective for an insurance company. But a Dutch Master has gone missing, bodies are popping up when least expected, and a mobster  is mighty miffed. It’s a tough job… until Quinn Checks In.

Quinn Checks in combines brutal action with tongue-in-cheek humor, a cast of characters and the kind of family drama that makes you miss your mom’s Sunday dinner! Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Quinn Checks In – L. H. Thomson”

The Telltale Tattoo – a #BookReview

the-telltale-tattoo-cell-smTitle: The Telltale Tattoo by John L. DeBoer

Genre: Currently #9027 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Crime

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Publication Date: January 29, 2018

Source: Author Request

Title and Cover: The Telltale Tattoo – Cover depicts jungle terrain

John L. DeBoer writes in the legendary style of Mickie Spillane. The plot is pocked with quick action that includes a contrast between law enforcement and gangsters and the hero or protagonist is a gumshoe named Clay Archer. Continue reading “The Telltale Tattoo – a #BookReview”

#ThrowbackThursday – #author Linda McDonald – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. I hope that you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

In the Lion's Mouth by Linda McDonaldThis week I am highlighting Linda McDonald, another terrific author who wrote In the Lion’s Mouth, one of two I reviewed for this author on Goodreads. And of course you know it is a mystery, suspense thriller. This one was published by Pure Gumption Press.

Originally posted March 31, 2014

Book Blurb:

A young couple, a friendly beachcomber, lots of bullets and plenty of death. It all starts innocently enough with Carrie and her new boyfriend driving her father’s RV to south Texas. When they get stuck in the sand on Boca Chica beach, Leo, a seemingly easy-going local, comes to their rescue and pulls them out. But after midnight, a wounded and far more intense Leo returns, now hunted by killers. Gun in hand, he forces the couple to help him escape. Once they’re back on the road, the danger–and the number of enemies–grows. Leo and Carrie, tightly held In the Lion’s Mouth, face a harrowing gauntlet of secrets stretching from Texas to the streets of Matamoros. A fast-paced thriller with colorful characters from both sides of the border.

My Review:

Carrie Jo Murray is not your average 20-something and Linda McDonald is not your average author, spitting out whodunits or suspense novels with the usual list of good and bad characters. There is nothing average in her books. This novel also involves a Winnebago, also not your average get-away vehicle.

I love the character Leo Marvins (nice play on a very well known action hero there) as well as his Viet Nam cronies and Leo proves to be more than a good guy; a great guy with a lot of post-Marine survival smarts, something her boyfriend, Jason, definitely is not. But Leo is complicated, many-faceted and more than your average beach bum from Boca Chica in Texas.

More scenes heat up than the Texas temperatures. Don’t take anyone at face value. No one and nothing is as it seems…lots of interesting characters, plot twists–I didn’t trust any of them. I don’t think I was supposed to!

Here Comes the Night by Linda McDonaldThis is the second McDonald book I’ve had the opportunity to download. I also read “Here Comes the Night” (excellent). See my Goodreads review here. The two can’t really be compared. What stays consistent is the quality of her writing, the depth of the story, and the insight into the characters. You don’t see most of these plot twists coming–and if you can’t predict the storyline–you gotta stay tuned to find out what really happens. I recommend you do!

About the Author: (From the Goodreads Author page)

Linda McDonaldLinda McDonald’s first novel, CRIMES OF REDEMPTION, was awarded the 2013 Oklahoma Book of the Year in Fiction by the Center for the Book. She has also written COLD, IN THE LION’S MOUTH and HERE COMES THE NIGHT, all available as e-books on Amazon. Coming soon – a new mystery set in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma, DEATH IN COMANCHE COUNTY.Linda grew up on the western plains of Oklahoma and holds Master’s degrees in Theater from Kansas University and in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she also taught for many years. Her plays have been produced in Oklahoma City, Dallas, Northampton, MA, and New York City. She still acts and directs with regional theaters. She has also written over a dozen screenplays which have been honored in writing competitions by Fade In magazine, Oklahoma Film Institute, National Broadcasters Association, Austin Film Festival, Best of the West, and Lone Star.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynn at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

The Tell-All – a Book Review

The Tell-All by Libby HowardTitle: The Tell All (Locust Point Mystery Book #1) by Libby Howard

Genre: Currently #281 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Supernatural, Ghosts, and #968 in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Publication Date: July 24, 2017

Source: Direct request from Erin Zarro, Assistant for Libby Howard

Title and Cover: The Tell All – Cute, obvious cozy mystery

Kay Carrera is sixty and a recent widow with no support network of children or grand-children. Facing a silent home, she stops at a local shelter and picks out what appears to be an independent adult cat (aren’t they all) that shouldn’t require a lot of exercise or attention, but will be a warm body. A journalist prior to being a caregiver for her husband, she has managed to wrangle a position with a local PI as a skip-tracer. It still won’t be enough to forestall foreclosure on her beloved Victorian, so she accepts a suggestion from the realtor/friend to take on a boarder (a judge in the midst of a contentious divorce with two children). Also, she recently had cataract surgery and decides it’s time to learn to knit.

But the eye surgery leaves her with a small, but interesting side effect. Continue reading “The Tell-All – a Book Review”