The Pact (The Blood Sisters Book 1) by Roberta Kagan – #BookReview – #HistoricalGermanFiction

Book Blurb:

Austria.

The Pact by Roberta KaganWhen three little girls—Anna, Bernie, and Elica—make a pact to be blood sisters for life, they believe nothing can come between them.

Anna is from an affluent Jewish family, while Bernie and Elica are from poor Austrian families who barely make ends meet. As they get older, their social differences become all too real.

With infectious Jew-hate-laden rhetoric from Nazi Germany spreading into Austria, it is only a matter of time before their bond of friendship gets severely tested.

How strong is a bond sealed in blood?

His Review:

Three young girls create a friendship bond in Germany in the early 1930’s. They had attended grammar school together and two of the three were poor. Anna was a Jewish girl raised by a family whose father owned a small factory. They treated their workers well but were never really integrated into common Jewish society.

The Pact by Roberta KaganA fourth girl tried to join Anna, Elisa, and Bernie. Dagna felt like an outsider in the group and was jealous of Anna and her family’s wealth. She often felt left out of most discussions and assured herself she would make Anna pay in the future. She leaned strongly towards the Young Nationalist Party headed by the new Chancellor, Adolf Hitler.

Although Anna’s father adhered to all government edicts and paid taxes and supported the government, he was not accepted by the new government. There were always surprise inspections and other government intrusions into his business. Ultimately his factory is taken over and he and his family’s properties are commandeered and the family is put out into the street penniless.  Anna and her parents are sent to a special “reeducation camp”.

CE WilliamsJealousy from a young girl leads to family imprisonment and ultimately to one of the “Ultimate Solution Gas Chambers”. Sadly many of the issues faced by Anne Frank are paralleled by Anna and her family. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

This is a good start to a new series and will hold interest for most historical fiction readers. 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

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Historical German Fiction, Jewish Historical Fiction
Publisher: Roberta Kagan Publishing
ASIN: B0BL7WTYMW
Print Length: 363 pages
Publication Date: January 16, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Pact [Amazon]

Roberta Kagan - authorThe Author: I am an USA Today Best Selling Author of Historical Jewish Fiction mainly set during World War 2. My father was Romany and my mother was Jewish, When I was very young I learned about the Holocaust. I couldn’t understand how something like this could happen. So, I began to research and learn more. I met with survivors. I even met with children and grandchildren of SS officers. But I still had no answers. I cannot say that I have all of the answers to all of my questions even now. But what I do know is that soon all of the survivors will be gone. Their message must be remembered, the sacrifices that they made must not be forgotten. And so I humbly and with the utmost humility I try to tell their stories. It is painful, but I must convey the darkness and horror of the time, However, I also want the world to know and celebrate the unsung heroes. Because there were many ordinary people who acted in heroic ways. I realize that writing these books is a great responsibility. I pray every day that I am able to do this correctly. I am trying to reach out and touch many people, not with the message of the horrors but with the promise of hope. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for considering my work. It is an honor that I never take lightly.

I send you many blessings, Roberta.

©2023 CE Williams – V Williams

Enjoy Your Sunday!

Favorite Books of 2022 – eBooks and Audiobooks

It is always a challenge to pick out our favorite reads of the year and 2022 had many. I’ve narrowed it down to twelve once again, one in each month. 

As always, these are a mix of Indie authors, favorite authors, as well as bestselling authors and cover a good range of genres including domestic drama, historical fiction, suspense, and thrillers. And I do so love audiobooks as well as eBooks.

Listed by month, thinking next year I’m going to note my No. 1 pick in the monthly recaps, hopefully to make a year-end wrap-up easier. Links on titles are my full review and pics are links to Amazon (US).

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene WeckerJan – The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Yes! An audiobook narrated by George Guidall (one of my favorite narrators). It’s an immersive fantasy brought to life with characters that create an enchanting tale of the ancient arts and magic. It’s way outside my normal reads as #HistoricalFantasy published in April, 2013. So why did I fail to give it my coveted five stars? I disliked what happened to one of the main characters. Ya gotta listen to it—or read it—your choice. My 4.5 stars

The Lincoln Highway audiobook coverFeb – The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. No. 5 on the Amazon Charts the week I reviewed—yes—another audiobook! I adored this book! Right up until the end. Another sabotage with my happy ending. This #ComingofAge – #HistoricalFiction was released on October 5, 2021 and got a lot of attention. It should have. Right up to the end (sob). Still, it’s one you shouldn’t miss. My 4.5 stars

Poison PenMar – Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe. (Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting Mysteries Book 1). The CE gave this one five stars in March, Reading Ireland Month, and I included it here as I read a number of Irish authors, all of whom were good. A #domesticthriller released on February 22, 2021, the CE noted it was a fascinating study of handwriting analysis—a unique plot device. His 4.5 stars

The LosstApr – The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton. A Mace Reid K-9 Mystery. I had to include one of my favorite doggy stories and this is a sweet one. Vira is a cadaver dog almost on a paranormal level with her handler, Mace Reid. It’s a fast-paced and well-plotted #animalfiction released on June 28, 2022. My 4.5 stars

The Physicists' DaughterMay – The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans. A big reading month and this #historicalmysteries captured the CEs attention and kept it. He noted it was well written and he could not put it down. (I believe it—he burned through it.) His 4.5 stars

Before We Were YoursJun – Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. OMG, this Goodreads Choice Award Winner also got five full stars from me. Loved it! Authentic, emotional (I listened to the audiobook), and as my heart rose and sank throughout this unputdownable narrative could find no reason to shave a half-star. Published in June 2017, a #fictionsagas #literaryfiction, it is indeed a beautiful #historicalfiction. 5 stars!

Lessons in ChemistryJul – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Another audiobook takes the month as a #HumorousLiteraryFiction.This NY Times bestseller and a book club pick is a cerebral argument for the ability of women to expand beyond the “big three” for women (teacher, nurse, secretary—now called Adminstrative Assistant—no additional pay). It attains that lofty five star peak, also showing as No. 20 on the Amazon Charts the week I reviewed. In the early 60s, this brainiac woman wants to be a chemist (gasp!). The author does it up right, although it definitely garnered a lot of criticism. My 5 stars

The Lindberg NannyAug – The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks. The CE was very impressed with this #HistoricalBiographicalFiction and gave it five stars. So many tidbits included that he notes is very well written and “has some literary license” to support the final court decision. A very well known and tragic case in our history that led to the creation of the Lindbergh (kidnapping) Law. His 5 stars

The Dutch HouseSept – The Dutch House by Ann Patchett an Amazon Editors’ pick for Best Literature & Fiction. Another audiobook and I’d be willing to bestow an honorary Audie for Tom Hanks’ narration. Heavy family dynamics, abandonment, love, loss, redemption. A #literaryfiction and my 5 stars. But, also vying for that 5 star mention are Painting with Fire by Amanda Hughes and The Quarryman’s Girl by Melanie Forde both by favorite authors of mine and whose works continue to be top drawer. You can’t go wrong with any of these September reads. All my 5 stars (Unusual, huh?)

Her Deadly GameOct – Her Deadly Game by Robert Dugoni. A CE review, his turn for a Robert Dugoni book and how can you go wrong with that? You can’t and he gave it 5 stars. He says the novel contains a myriad of legal wrangling and is engaging and entertaining. Dugoni books are consistently fresh and well-crafted with relatable, well-developed characters. #legalthrillers His 5 stars

Hang the Moon by Jeannette WallsNov – Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls. A unique look at the 20s and Prohibition whose main character is a woman—and a strong, savvy, and smart one at that. Loved the atmospheric narrative with themes of religious passion, bootlegging, and gang wars. (Guess nothing changes, huh?) #biographicalhistoricalfiction My 4 stars. (Loved the book, wasn’t keen on the ending, but can still recommend.)

Swamp StoryDec – Swamp Story by Dave Barry. This is a case of an ugly cover but winning the month for the content of the book. Perhaps the cover is meant to convey this is not going to be a serious book. It’s the epitomy of #darkhumor and it’s hilarious, tongue-in-cheek rapid fire snark, twists, unique atmospherics, and an outrageously imaginative plot. That’s Dave Barry for you. So funny I had the CE read it. We both agreed. It’s a solid 5 stars and heartily recommended.

Obviously, not all the monthly favorites were five stars but still impressed us. So, in looking over this list, a strong pattern is becoming obvious. We are definitely leaning to #historicalfiction and #audiobooks. It’s another argument for just how many sub-genres fall under the general historical fiction category.

Reads by Genre

Do any of the above grab your interest? Read it already? Disagree with our reviews? I’d love to know and always welcome your comments!

©2023 V Williams

Rosepoint Recommended-5 Stars

The Devil’s Own: A tantalizing historical mystery by Maria McDonald – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

A set of century-old diaries found in an attic draws an Irish couple into a tale of murder and madness, in this absorbing new suspense.

The Devil's Own by Maria McDonaldAfter forty years in the Irish army, Brian is looking forward to retiring and spending time with his wife—though he worries about adjusting to civilian life. While clearing the attic before they move house, he makes a discovery: three journals dating back to the early twentieth century.

One was written by Arthur, an ex-Connaught Ranger; another by Arthur’s wife, Edith, a colonel’s daughter; and the third by Henry, a British soldier and Arthur’s best friend.

Brian and his wife are soon engrossed in reading the diaries and following the intertwined stories of these three people from the past. But it soon becomes chillingly clear that these diaries contain more than the daily adventures of ordinary lives. Because one of the three is a killer . . .

My Review:

Well, how much fun was this?

This is one of those that I continued to read, fascinated, while my breakfast cereal became soggy.

A dual timeline novel that begins approximately 1880 to 1924 and the other present day. The main POV is that of Brian, retiring after spending forty years in the Irish army. His wife is thrilled with the new digs they’ve planned for years and eagerly looking forward to retiring with her hubby. It’s when Brian tackles the attic of the home previously occupied by myriad military families that he discovers journals hidden in a covered chest that date back a century where the real mystery suspense begins.

Brian and Jean become engrossed in reading what must have been the separate diaries of Arthur and his wife Edith, and that of Henry, Arthur’s best friend. The journals, however, turn rather dark and Henry’s diary becomes shocking.

The Devil's Own by Maria McDonaldThe journals take turns as the narrative progresses through the story of Arthur as an orphaned child and his eventual history with the Connaught Rangers. Edith has given up being the privileged child of an officer stationed in India at the Curragh Camp with all the privileges attendant to the British military of the time. Their union is marred by Arthur’s drinking encouraged by his army buddy Henry.

I loved the chapters with Arthur and Edith; Henry’s chapters turn grisly as he describes his exploits. The descriptions of the bases or camps are vivid with detail and include interesting tidbits of military life of the time. The characters are fully developed and evoke immersion into the storyline, creating a bond between both the current angst-filled Brian and the tragedy of Edith’s marriage.

So engrossing the laying out of the backstory of the individuals, it’s easy to be fully invested in them by the time the well-plotted and paced storyline plays out. I suspicioned Henry’s story early on, but the novel is so absorbing I had no problem burying myself in the pages in a race to the conclusion.

Gripping, it is indeed tantalizing and a particularly satisfying read. As with most journeys, the fun is not always in the destination—it’s the ride.

I previously read Charlie Mac back in May 2018 and enjoyed it. The author outdid herself this time–loved it. I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bloodhound Books and the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts. This is one that will make my suggested favorites list for #readingirelandmonth in March.

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Thrillers, Psychological Fiction
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
ASIN: B0BQ6LP15Y
Print Length: 348 pages
Publication Date: January 11, 2023
Source: Bloodhound Books and the author

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Maria McDonald - authorThe Author: Originally from Belfast, Maria McDonald lives in Kildare, with her husband Gerry.

Maria is an avid reader who loves to write but only indulged in her passion for writing fiction after retirement. Since then, her short stories and articles have been published in Woman’s Way and Ireland’s Own, as well as numerous anthologies; Intermissions, Grattan Street Press Melbourne; Same page anthology, University College Cork; Fragments of Time, Amber Publishers. Maria is a founder member of Ink Tank Writing Group, based in Newbridge library and contributed to their anthologies, Timeless in Kildare and Let Me Tell You Something.

©2023 V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

My Love Nikola Tesla by Ana Atanasković – #BookReview – #HistoricalFiction

Book Blurb:

My Love Nikola Tesla by Ana AtanaskovićA new aspect of the greatest scientist of all times is brought forth in Ana Atanasković’s new book. The author dug deep to discover a softer side of Nikola Tesla. His social gatherings with the most famous individuals of his time, friendships with poets, writers and other visionaries, his impeccable sense of style were all kept on the margins of Tesla’s scientific brilliance. Ana masterfully revisits his ties to a woman whose life was forever changed by the Serbian wizard in a story full of emotions of the noble female heart. The reader is transported to the late 19th century New York with a flick of the page, to the time when magic existed, wizards walked the earth, and the heart of a dutiful wife contained the secrets of the universe.

His Review:

Katherine McMahon Johnson is married to Robert Johnson who adores her. She is the light of his life and he does everything he can to make her happy. Her marriage is a good one. The problem is that they have met Nikola Tesla. He is tall and brilliant and she is swept off her feet. Nikola on the other hand is a faithful friend to her husband and repulses her overtures.

My Love Nikola Tesla by Ana AtanaskovićKatherine fantasizes about a complete physical relationship with Nikola throughout her life. She raises children with Robert and they are placed at various embassies around the world representing our government. The problem is her infatuation never wavers. She recognizes her problem but cannot forget about Nikola and his aristocratic demeanor.

Her fantasies ultimately make her ill and reclusive. Neither her husband nor her children can shake her lust for Nikola. Even when stationed in foreign countries she continues to obsess over him! Such obsessive behavior and lust are overwhelming in their driving nature.

CE WilliamsThe narrative is at times slow paced and repetitive. Had hoped for a bit more Nikola and a little less obsessed Katherine. 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

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
ASIN: B0BG6C6DPR
Print Length: 303 pages
Publication Date: October 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Ana Atanaskovic - authorThe Author: Ana Atanasković graduated English language and literature at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. Master’s degree – advertising in literature.

Books:

– collection of stories ‘Belgrade May Stories’ (2006)
– novel ‘Duet of Souls’ (2008)
– novel ‘Helene d’Anjou’ (2009, 2010)
– novel ‘My Love Nikola Tesla’ (2013)
– collection of stories ‘Belgrade is Love’ (2017)
– novel ‘Queen of Lilacs’ – extended edition of ‘Helene d’Anjou'(2019)
– novel ‘Davorjanka Paunovic’ (2020)
– revised edition of the novel ‘My Love Nikola Tesla’ (Laguna, 2021)
– Macedonian edition of ‘My Love Nikola Tesla’ (Ikona, 2022)
– English edition of ‘My Love Nikola Tesla’ (YU biblioteka, October 2022)

As a journalist, she wrote for Serbian edition of ELLE, as well as for many prominent Serbian magazines and websites (currently she writes for one printed magazine and two websites).

She has won several awards for best book reviews and stories. She also works as a content writer.

Official site: http://www.samovoli.wordpress.com

©2023 – CE Williams – V Williams

Christmas typewriter

The Huntress by Kate Quinn – #Audiobook Review – #ThrowbackThursday

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Goodreads Choice Award Nominee

Rosepoint Publishing:   Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

From the author of the New York Times and USA Today best-selling novel The Alice Network comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted….

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, 17-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes home with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past – only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family…secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth. 

This audiobook includes an episode of the Book Club Girl Podcast, featuring an interview with Kate Quinn about The Huntress. 

My Review:

I was diverted to this novel by a blog buddy who wrote a glowing review of another work by this author. That one not being available at my library (unusual, I know!), I chose this one instead and from the moment I had my earbuds comfortably embedded could find it almost impossible to turn it off for anything. Finally, I didn’t bother, and just sat and listened to it.

This turned out to be one very mind-blowing audiobook, I’m sure in no small part owing to the amazing narrator who slid Russian names off her tongue as easily as German or English.

The Night WitchesThis masterful work carries a sinister, skin-crawling aura of suspense from the first chapter to the triumphal conclusion. This is a profoundly compulsive read that begins with the story of Nina Markova that gradually evolves into an extremely powerful protagonist—formidable in her staunch unwavering focus, passionate in her role as one of the first Soviet women pilots of WWII known as The Night Witches and extremely profane in expression. Oh, God, she is amazing and I loved every chapter that was hers!

The Huntress by Kate QuinnNina, however, is but one of three main POVs that take turns in chapters devoted to each character and the timeline that evolves over years from the war to 1950s Boston that sees seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride—equally passionate in her exploration of photography goals at a time most young girls were thinking marriage and babies. It is her widowed father who marries a German widow, Annaliese, who brings along a four-year-old daughter, Ruth. Jordan captures a photo of Annaliese that sets her hackles up and fires potent suspicions.

Following the end of the war, Nazi war criminal hunter and British war correspondent Ian Graham is joined by his buddy and Nina in the hunt for die Jagerin, The Huntress—a deliciously disturbing woman who escaped her palatial lakeside estate, site of decadent Nazi retreats.

The pace is frenetic. Each chapter reveals more about the protagonists and the dark Annaliese. Jordan, who knows she captured the real woman behind the façade, Nina with as much incentive to find her as Ian, gradually reveals more about her own harrowing war efforts piloting a plane made of wood and canvas.

This could be a suspense thriller that takes place seventy years ago as much as a historical thriller. It is an incredible narrative that hooks, revs, and speeds to a satisfying conclusion, producing a hugely character-driven story that will reverberate long after you’ve finished the book. Will easily be a memorable favorite that straddles years.

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts. Whether or not you like historical fiction, this is intense reading and is heartily recommended.

Book Details:

Genre: World War II Historical Fiction, War & Military Fiction, Espionage Thrillers
Publisher:  HarperAudio
ASIN: B07GXZNPSB
Listening Length: 19 hrs 4 mins
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Huntress [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

 

Kate Quinn - authorThe Author: Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice Network”, “The Huntress,” “The Rose Code,” and “The Diamond Eye.” All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with three rescue dogs.

Saskia Maarleveld - narratorThe Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld is an experienced audiobook narrator and voice-over actress based in New York City. Raised in New Zealand and France, she is highly skilled with accents and dialects, and many of her books have been narrated entirely in accents other than her own. In addition to audiobooks, Saskia’s voice can be heard in animation, video games, and commercials. She attributes her love and understanding of reading books aloud to coming from a large family where audiobooks were the only way to get though car rides without fighting! Visit saskiamaarleveld.com to learn more.

©2023 V Williams

Book hangover

Night Witches attribute: History.com

Goodreads Choice Awards–The Best of the Winners and Losers 2022

Goodreads Choice Awards - 2022

 

How well did you do with your nominees in the annual Goodreads Choice Awards for 2022? I always participate in voting, searching for those books I’ve read and then seeing the final winner count in my choices. It’s always a surprise.

This year I was happy to note I chose more favorites. I don’t read such a wide variety that I have choices in every (17) categories.  I read humor, memoir and biography, as well as a few nonfiction and others, but my favorites, of course, are Mystery & Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fiction, and Debut novels.

The links below are to the Goodreads listings in those categories. Those with a thumbnail of the cover also have a link to my review.

Goodreads Choice Awards

2022 Goodreads Choice Awards

Nominees on my shelves:

Best Fiction

The Winners by Fredrik BackmanThe Winners by Fredrik Backman

This Time Tomorrow by Emma StraubThis Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

 

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth StroutLucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout

 

 

The Winner:

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevil

… 

Best Mystery & Thriller

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St JamesThe Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllisterWrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

 

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay  The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

The Winner:

The Maid by Nita Prose (This is a mystery/thriller??)

… 

Best Historical Fiction

Lessons in chemistry by Bonnie GarmusLessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

The Last House on the Street by Diane ChamberlainThe Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain

 

The Winner:

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Best Memoir & Autobiography

Funny Farm by Laurie ZaleskiFunny Farm by Laurie Zaleski

The Winner:

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

… 

Best Debut

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie GarmusLessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

The Winner:

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

 

Yes, this year I did choose a novel that ultimately made #1 this year, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus nominated in both the debut and historical fiction categories, winning Best Debut with 64,107 votes. Also, last year I enjoyed six nominees in three categories, while this year I had three in two categories (best fiction and mystery and thriller), two in historical fiction and one each in memoir & autobiography, and debut for a total of ten in my five categories.

 

So I have to ask:

  • How many of the above did you read?
  • In how many different categories do you participate?
  • Do you look for reading ideas from the Goodreads winners?
  • Will you be choosing one of the 2023 trending books next year?
  • And, lastly—have you gone to any movies or viewed series based on one of your choices?

I’ve always appreciated Goodreads for the extensive resource they are. In the past, I participated often with Giveaways until they changed the entry to land in the “Want to Read” column. Yes, I did, but I didn’t want it accumulating in that column particularly if I didn’t win the book. I recently went through the column, some entries dating back years, and deleted them.

Now, besides the forums in which I’m a participant, I do mine their New Releases section under “Browse” and often crosscheck those against the offerings in NetGalley. Are you feeling lucky? Well, are you?

How many ways do you use Goodreads?

©2022 V Williams

Hemlock Hollow by Culley Holderfield – #BookReview – #southernfiction

Book Blurb:

Hemlock Hollow by Culley HolderfieldCaroline McAlister, college professor and life-long skeptic, is reeling from the loss of her father and her marriage. Her once promising career has come to a standstill. When her father bequeaths the family cabin to her, it comes with a ghost who haunted her childhood. When she discovers a century-old journal in the attic, she awakens the voice of Carson Quinn. The journal reveals Carson’s love for the same hollow that enthralled Caroline growing up. A little sleuthing uncovers rumors that the kind, curious boy in the journal grew up to murder his brother. Caroline plunges into the project of exonerating Carson, only to find herself in the throes of a personal past she’s spent her life trying to avoid. Hemlock Hollow is about how we forever haunt the places we love and how they haunt us in return.

His Review:

Love is sometimes a cruel and hypnotizing mistress. Carson Quinn and Marinda fell in love at first sight. Carson was tongue-tied every time he got around her but she kissed him once and the rest was history. They became inseparable and a long-loving future was surely theirs.

Taylor, Carson’s older brother, also took a shine to Ms. Marinda! There was no question as to who she was interested in, but Taylor was never far out of the picture. Then Carson went away to college and became a revered educator and publicist. Completing his education, he came back to Hickory Nut Gap to marry the girl he loves and is betrothed to.

Hemlock Hollow by Culley HolderfieldHer parents hold him back and his brother cannot be found. He discovers Taylor has taken his place with Marinda. Carson leaves his beloved Hickory Nut Gap.

The tale weaves a lovely setting of Henderson County, North Carolina, and the conflict that was the “War of Northern Aggression.” That is the title the South has named the American Civil War. Carson becomes an officer in the northern army because he and his family do not believe in secession.

Carson does not return to North Carolina for over ten years. Taylor has won the girl and totally split the family. There is no peace in Hickory Nut Gap after this revelation. He and Marinda wind up living within a mile of each other but never talk or share their existence.

CE WilliamsThis book is well written and engenders many of the wild and lovely places that is North Carolina. The description of the woods, mountains, and hollows paints a gorgeous picture of an enchanting country. Read and enjoy this tale! 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

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Southern United States Fiction, Southern Fiction, Historical Mysteries
Publisher: Regal House Publishing
ASIN: B09MSLL1KJ
Print Length: 303 pages
Publication Date: December 6, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Hemlock Hollow [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Culley Holderfield - authorThe Author: Culley Holderfield learned to love storytelling on the porch of a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, he ventured to South America, Africa, and Europe. When not writing or working in community development finance, he spends his time hiking, paddling, and wandering the outdoors. His short stories and poetry have appeared in a variety of publications. Hemlock Hollow is his debut novel. He lives in Durham, NC.

©2022 – CE Williams – V Williams

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I'm glad I learned to express my thoughts clearly and everyone loves to read them. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking power to think about the surroundings. Someone who likes it, someone who enjoys it, appreciates that he is writing very well. Reading and commenting on the post I wrote would give me a lot of bullshit and I would get new ideas to write new ones. I'm really glad I got your response.

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