Roaring Liberty: The Queenstown Series – Book 4 by Jean Grainger – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

#1 New Release in Historical Irish Fiction

 Book Blurb:

New York City, 1922

Roaring Liberty by Jean GraingerHarp Devereaux is torn. Part of her desperately wants to return to Ireland to finish what she and her family and friends started, and to witness the departure of the British forces from Ireland after eight hundred long years. But the other part finds life in America during the Roaring Twenties too exciting to trade for the sleepy streets of County Cork.

She and JohnJoe are united and determined to sample all that life after the Great War has to offer, but life Stateside is not as free and easy as Harp first imagines and soon she finds herself longing for the simplicity of her homeland.

She wants to live life on her own terms but life is never simple, on either side of the Atlantic, and there are sinister forces at work, determined to bring them all down..

My Review:

Book 4 of the Queenstown series wraps it up in classic style, managing to resolve all the issues in a fast-moving and immersive conclusion.

While I was not able to walk in Harp’s shoes, I do so enjoy all the characters, especially JohnJoe and in this entry to the series Jerry, Elliot, and Celia. Harp and JohnJoe hesitantly form a vaudeville act upon the insistence of Jerry who will act as manager and promoter, as well as Elliot (on violin) and Celia, their bookkeeper and seamstress.

Roaring Liberty by Jean GrainerAfter Rose and Matt return to Ireland, Harp feels free to live as she wants to live her life and that’s as a performer—beginning in New York where they find a lucrative level of success, particularly after Elliot pens an original that is picked as a favorite in their venues.

But there are issues back home and Jerry opens an opportunity to play in Dublin allowing Harp to see her mother again. While in Ireland, however, they discover the tentative and long-awaited peace treaty with Britain divides their country between those who are agreeable to the terms and those who are not, creating a dangerous climate and turning former friends to enemies.

Also, there is the issue of the home that Harp inherited when her “father” claimed her as his heir, bypassing his own brother who took possession of Cliff House following their hasty exodus to the states.

The well-paced narrative slowed somewhat in the middle as issues having been introduced were more carefully examined and possible remedies posited, while song lyrics were introduced (including the iconic Irish ballad “Danny Boy” (which always brings tears to my eyes) or repeated. I must say the lyrics of Elliot’s “original song” “Your Heart Will Know” is absolutely, hauntingly beautiful.

There are themes of the struggle of women in society (“Until all women were free, none were”), lifestyle, as well as the continued troubles with the British and class distinction.

I am one of the lucky few to receive an advance reader’s copy of this author’s works. I’ve enjoyed all of them, including The Harp and the Rose, Book 3, and find each delightful, atmospheric, and educational as well as engaging and entertaining. Book 4, Roaring Liberty is out now and highly recommended although you might wish to begin (if you haven’t already) with Book 1, Last Port of Call.

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

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Book Details:

Genre: British Historical Literature, Historical Irish Fiction, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction
ISBN: ‎B09QFC6LNB
ASIN: B09DBWW184
Print Length: 480 pages
Publication Date: January 17, 2022 – Just Released!
Source: Author request
Title Link: Roaring Liberty  [Amazon] 

Jean Grainger - authorThe Author: JEAN GRAINGER – USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.

WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE

Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!

I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi.

My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.

My current series, The Queenstown Series, centres on twelve year old Harp Devereaux and her mother Rose and the first book opens on the day Titanic sails from Queenstown, Co Cork on her last fateful journey. It is a bestselling series and people really seem to connect to the precocious Harp and her hard-working mother as they battle to survive in a society where conforming and playing by the rules was paramount. It is so far a three book series, The West’s Awake, and The Harp and the Rose being the next two books but I’m currently writing book four…

[truncated…]

Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.

Read her complete bio on Amazon or visit her website at Jean Grainer.com

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Twenty Years Later: A Riveting New Thriller by Charlie Donlea – #BookReview – #psychologicalthriller

Book Blurb:

Twenty Years Later by Charlie DonleaAvery Mason, host of American Events, knows the subjects that grab a TV audience’s attention. Her latest story—a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal—is guaranteed to be ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiner’s office to make its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. The twist: the victim, Victoria Ford, had been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister, Victoria begged her to prove her innocence.

Emma Kind has waited twenty years to put her sister to rest, but closure won’t be complete until she can clear Victoria’s name. Alone she’s had no luck, but she’s convinced that Avery’s connections and fame will help. Avery, hoping to negotiate a more lucrative network contract, goes into investigative overdrive. Victoria had been having an affair with a successful novelist, found hanging from the balcony of his Catskills mansion. The rope, the bedroom, and the entire crime scene were covered in Victoria’s DNA.

But the twisted puzzle of Victoria’s private life is just the beginning. And what Avery doesn’t realize is that there are other players in the game who are interested in Avery’s own secret past—one she has kept hidden from both the network executives and her television audience. A secret she thought was dead and buried . . .

His Review:

September 11, 2001 was an American tragedy. Crimes committed on that day were negated or over-shadowed by the event. The justice system realized that you could not try the persons killed in the blast. Avery Mason also realized this as she prepared for her highly-rated crime expose: ”American Events.”

Twenty Years Later by Charlie DonleaNetwork executives are very frugal when it comes to their expenditures. A low-ball offer is on the table for Avery and she is not happy. The network had offered her a paltry ¾ of a million per year for five years. A slap on the face with a rotten fish could not have been any more of a putdown. Her predecessor, Mack Carter, had been paid eight million a year for the same job!

She had closed the year out with the highest-rated show on television. Putting her life on the line to educate people on how to get out of a vehicle submerging in a lake closed the season with a bang! So why were the network executives offering such a low-ball offer?

Avery has more personal problems as well. Her father had been a Wall Street high flyer who was running a very effective Ponzi scheme. He had disappeared three years earlier with an estimated 15 million dollars of his investor’s money and the justice system wanted him badly.

Charlie Donlea spins a very interesting tale of greed and avarice among the New York and Wall Street elite. The “sins of the father” are hard to overcome in the dog-eat-dog world that is Wall Street business. This tale explores the problem with someone who is the offspring of one of these tycoons. Before Tammany Hall and the other rulers of Wall Street developed the methodology, the stage was set to fleece the rich persons’ greed.

CE WilliamsI found the book enlightening and a bit disgusting. The theme is that there is never enough money to satisfy the greed and avarice of the very rich. 5 stars – C.E. Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

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

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thrillers, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Kensington Books
ASIN: B091M75X6J
Print Length: 404 pages
Publication Date: December 28, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Twenty Years Later [Amazon] 
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Charlie Donlea - authorThe Author: Charlie Donlea is the #1 internationally bestselling author of Summit Lake, The Girl Who Was Taken, Don’t Believe It, Some Choose Darkness, The Suicide House and Twenty Years Later. Praised for his “soaring pace, teasing plot twists” (BookPage) and talent for writing an ending that “makes your jaw drop” (The New York Times Book Review), Donlea has been called a “bold new writer…on his way to becoming a major figure in the world of suspense” (Publishers Weekly). A late bloomer, he was twenty years old when he read his first novel––THE FIRM by John Grisham––and knew he would someday write thrillers. His books have now been translated into more than a dozen languages across thirty countries.

He was born and raised in Chicago, where he continues to live with his wife and two children. Visit him online at CharlieDonlea.com.

[He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are accessible only by floatplane. These majestic trips to “God’s Country” inspired the setting for his first novel, Summit Lake. Goodreads profile]

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams-Christmas hat

Déjà Boo: A Chantilly Adair Paranormal Cozy Mystery Series Book 6 by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson – #BookReview – #cozymystery

Book Blurb:

Déjà Boo by Carolyn Ridder AspensonSometimes, an innocent person is convicted of a crime they didn’t commit. And sometimes, after the real guilty person dies, they fess up.

To me…

Because I can communicate with the dead.

I try hard to help the restless dead find closure. And usually, I succeed. But this time my detective boyfriend is throwing a wrench into my efforts. I might be able to take the word of a dead guy, but the police sure can’t.

And as always, things don’t turn out as planned. Now I’m stuck in the middle of a double murder—one from the past—and one from now.

Because someone doesn’t want me to discover the truth…and it looks like they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure this secret stays in the grave!

My Review:

Well, phooey, coming late to the party again, starting with Book 6, and perhaps this is one series best begun from the beginning. Chantilly Adair can see (and sometimes hear) ghosts since she took a bad fall. She’s been helping those who contact her when they are stuck in limbo until something pertaining to their death is resolved. True to many cozy mysteries, her boyfriend Jack is a Castleberry police detective although in this case he has a new boss not hot to listen to his detective’s leads from a girlfriend’s ghost.

Déjà Boo by Carolyn Ridder AspensonIn this episode, she is told by a ghost that he is responsible for the death of someone that saw another taking blame and is now sitting in jail for the crime. Trying to take on the mystery of the ghost to set things right, another murder occurs that she is sure is linked to the old case. Of course, she is repeatedly told by her boyfriend to stay out of it. Which she doesn’t.

I usually enjoy some paranormal in mysteries, particularly cozy mysteries, but in this case had a problem with Chantilly’s attitude and never really did warm up to her. She apparently works at the local (Castleberry) historical society and has a number of pertinent contacts. Nor did I find the plot to be a barn-burner. There are numerous characters and flipping between the old case and new had my head spinning trying to remember similar names and relationships and not caring too much if I didn’t.

The author, however, does have an interesting writing style and I know the series is popular. I did note two interesting quotables, especially the first I can totally relate to:

“Del has a hard time letting other people do what she believes she does best.”

“People like you think the sun comes up just to hear you crow.” [ha! Now that’s funny!]

So there is a sprinkling of humor and the conclusion here was drawn quickly and neatly. No doubt her followers will enjoy this one; it just wasn’t my cup of cozy tea.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Mystery Series, Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery, Amateur Sleuth
Publisher: Severn River Publishing
ASIN: B092MS48ND
Print Length: 178 pages
Publication Date: November 16, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
 
Title Link: Déjà Boo [Amazon]

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson - authorThe Author: USA Today Bestselling author Carolyn Ridder Aspenson writes cozy mysteries and thrillers featuring strong female leads. Her stories shine through her dialogue, which readers have praised for being realistic and compelling. Her first novel, Unfinished Business, An Angela Panther Mystery was a Reader’s Favorite finalist and reached the top 100 Kindle books sold on Amazon.

Prior to writing fiction, Carolyn was a freelance journalist covering local and national affairs in the metro Atlanta area.

Now an empty-nester, Carolyn lives in the North Georgia mountains with her husband, two Pit Bull-Boxer mix dogs and a cantankerous cat. You’ll often find her at a local coffee shop people watching and listening while she writes her next novel.

Like and chat with Carolyn on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carolynridderaspensonauthor

Find Carolyn on BookBub at Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

Visit Carolyn’s website and sign up for her newsletter at carolynridderaspenson.com

Follow Carolyn at CarolynRidderAspenson on Instagram

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Pilot’s Daughter by Meredith Jaeger – #BookReview – #HistoricalWWIIFiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The glitzy days of 1920s New York meet the devastation of those left behind in World War II in a new, delectable historical novel from USA Today bestselling author Meredith Jaeger.

The Pilot's Daughter by Meredith JaegerIn the final months of World War II, San Francisco newspaper secretary Ellie Morgan should be planning her wedding and subsequent exit from the newsroom into domestic life. Instead, Ellie, who harbors dreams of having her own column, is using all the skills she’s learned as a would-be reporter to try to uncover any scrap of evidence that her missing pilot father is still alive. But when she discovers a stack of love letters from a woman who is not her mother in his possessions, her already fragile world goes into a tailspin, and she vows to find out the truth about the father she loves—and the woman who loved him back.

When Ellie arrives on her aunt Iris’s doorstep, clutching a stack of letters and uttering a name Iris hasn’t heard in decades, Iris is terrified. She’s hidden her past as a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl from her family, and her experiences in New York City in the 1920s could reveal much more than the origin of her brother-in-law’s alleged affair. Iris’s heady days in the spotlight weren’t enough to outshine the darker underbelly of Jazz Age New York, and she’s spent the past twenty years believing that her actions in those days led to murder.

Together the two women embark on a cross-country mission to find the truth in the City That Never Sleeps, a journey that just might shatter everything they thought they knew—not only about the past but about their own futures.

Inspired by a true Jazz Age murder cold case that captivated the nation, and the fact that more than 72,000 Americans still remain unaccounted for from World War II, The Pilot’s Daughter is a page-turning exploration of the stories we tell ourselves and of how well we can truly know those we love.

His Review:

This excellent book shows the contrasts of women’s lives between the 1920’s and the second world war years. First Lieutenant William A. Morgan went down with his plane in the Adriatic Sea. His daughter Ellie received the dreaded letter from the War Department and subsequently his belongings. She was in denial regarding his death and felt he was more probably missing in action.

The Pilot's Daughter by Meredith JaegerWhile checking through the box of his effects she comes upon a packet of letters addressed to Ms. Lillian Dell. The letters allude to their daughter and love for each other! Ellie is flabbergasted to think that her father may have had another family in New York! She and her aunt Iris set out for New York to solve the mystery. Iris had been one of the headliners in the Ziegfield Follies in the early twenties. Iris had left the city and returned to San Francisco after a very dangerous entanglement with a married man.

The author melds the experiences and lives of both ladies with the hand of an artist. I appreciated the experiences of both Ellie and her aunt Iris. They have a very close family bond while Ellie and her mother are not close at all. The trip to New York is exciting and holds some danger for aunt Iris. The diving back between the experiences of the 1920’s and mid 1940’s provides a clear view of the change of respect that women received before and after WWII.

CE WilliamsI highly recommend this book as a treatise on the social change that occurred in this country as a result of the war and the need to have women more closely involved in the development and production of aircraft and weapons during the war. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, World War II Historical Fiction, Women’s Detective Fiction
Publisher: Dutton
ISBN: ‎ 0593185897
ASIN: B08VWZP9PJ
Print Length: 351 pages
Publication Date: November 2, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Pilot’s Daughter [Amazon]
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Meredith Jaeger - authorThe Author: Meredith Jaeger is the USA Today bestselling author of THE PILOT’S DAUGHTER, BOARDWALK SUMMER and THE DRESSMAKER’S DOWRY. She’s a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was raised by a Swiss father and an American mother. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Meredith wrote her debut novel, THE DRESSMAKER’S DOWRY, while working for a San Francisco startup.

THE PILOT’S DAUGHTER has been called “unputdownable” (NYT bestselling author Sally Hepworth) “stirring and powerful” (NYT bestselling author Fiona Davis) and “historical fiction at its finest” (NYT bestselling author Lori Nelson Spielman).

Meredith lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, their young daughter and crazy rescue dog.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

When The Skies Cry: Heartwarming Dog Fiction (Books for Dog Lovers Book 2) by Steve N Lee –#BookReview – Pet Dogs

Happy Release Day!

Are you ready to get into the mind and reasoning of a dog?

Book Blurb:

When the Skies Cry by Steve N LeeSometimes, the one you’re saving is really saving you.

Harley loses everything when his master dies — his home, his best friend, his reason for living. Day after day, he trudges the streets, trembling from the biting cold, whimpering from the gnawing hunger.

Across town, Rachel has an alimony hearing looming and a make-or-break deadline hurtling toward her, yet they aren’t her biggest worries — her autistic son has withdrawn so far into his own private world, he barely acknowledges she even exists.

Luckily, the magic of life is in the surprises no one ever sees coming…

My Review:

When The Skies Cry is the second in the Dog Lovers book series and you’ll be glad to know the author does not resort to anthropomorphics in his descriptions of Harley. No, the POV from Harley is probably just what the canine might actually be thinking, rather than the emotions and thoughts we attribute to them.

When the Skies Cry by Steve N LeeThis story revolves around Rachel and her son Wesley who is on the extreme side of the autism spectrum. Too much for the father, Rachel is struggling with Wes on her own, including home schooling. It isn’t until Harley comes into their lives, however, that there is a dramatic change in Wes—for the good. And any change in Wes is an improvement.

Rachel is blessed with having Izzy as a friend/tenant who is immediately drawn to Harley as well but first the fear is trying to have a dog and then the fear is losing him. Meanwhile, Harley appears to have found his “new purpose.” He likes to work after all and he is very, very smart and very well trained for his former owner’s service needs.

The storyline marks Wes’s remarkable improvements at the same time tragedy strikes. I had to chuckle at one point when a brief reference to Kai from Book 1 surfaces in the narrative. There is the confusion by Harley to the changes in the household and how he puzzles through the appropriate response to solve the problem as he has interpreted it.

I was a bit surprised by the twist in the conclusion—not wholly on board with the way it was wrapped up—but in the meantime an immersive story with engaging characters. A sweet novel once again championing the bond between man (or woman) and the canine species who has been learning how to perceive and handle their humans for a long time now. They learned how to communicate. Now it’s up to us to figure out what they are saying. I really enjoyed As the Stars Fall (Book 1) and was happy to add to my “Books for Dog Lovers” list. You will too. Recommended and available now at your favorite retailer. 

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

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Book Details:

Genre: Pet Dogs, British Contemporary Literature, British & Irish Literary Fiction
Publisher: Blue Zoo
ASIN: B08MBF9NHM
Print Length: 474 pages
Publication Date: October 22, 2021 (Today!)
Source: Direct author connection 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Steve N Lee - authorThe Author: Steve N Lee has three passions: anti-heroes, animals, and travel. To date, he’s visited 60 countries and has adopted five homeless cats, but he’s yet to prowl the streets in the dead of night to beat up bad guys (though he still daydreams about doing so, but who doesn’t?).

In pursuit of adventure, he’s cage-dived with great white sharks, sparred with a monk at a Shaolin temple, and explored exotic locales such as Machu Picchu, Pompeii, and the Great Wall of China.

Fortunately, his passions fuel his fiction. He loves to pepper his action-packed thrillers with the exotic places he’s explored and the unusual encounters he’s experienced, while his dog stories glow with the love and companionship that will warm the heart of any animal lover.

He lives in the North of England with his partner, Ania, the great-granddaughter of the 1924 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and two stray black cats who visited their garden one day and liked it so much, they moved into the house. Luckily, they graciously allowed Steve and Ania to carry on living there, even allowing Steve to continue paying the mortgage to give him a sense of purpose. If you don’t read Steve’s books, the cats will not be happy — they like their house so need Steve to keep paying for it!

http://stevenleebooks.com/

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Gamblers, Fools, and Fate On the Road to Key West by Michael Reisig – a #BookReview – #traveladventures – #TuesdayBookBlog

Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael Reisig

 Rosepoint Rating: Five stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Once again, The Hole In The Coral Wall Gang is up to their eyeballs in wild misadventure and incredible circumstance!

The hundred-year-old Coiba Penal Colony off the coast of Panama is an island swarming with convicts, inside and outside the prison walls, and yet, by the strangest of fates, this extraordinary tropical isle possesses an ancient, incredibly valuable secret that could change the world.

Kansas and Will along with their team, find themselves challenging this strange island while trying to dodge wild desperadatos, prison soldiers, and a crazed island commandant.

If that weren’t enough, there’s the South Florida mafia, who also want what the team has discovered. Then there are the two hired crazies from the bizarre “Last Resort” chasing Will and Kansas because they failed to die in a timely fashion, and didn’t pay their bill.

Startling! Clever! And very funny in places.


THIS IS ALSO A GREAT STAND ALONE READ

My Review:

Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael ReisigI love it when author Michael Reisig comes out with another novel in his On the Road to Key West series! I know I’ll always get an exciting journey along with the Hole in the Coral Wall Gang to some exotic location for an unusual treasure, this time involving terraformation. And who doesn’t enjoy treasure hunting?

All the favorites are included beside Will and Kansas, the main characters. Crazy Eddie, Cody and Travis are back (I love these guys). Their offspring Tax and Jing along with Jing’s amazing hawk Cielo is included. In this narrative we are introduced to Diego Tarras and the singularly torturous Coiba Island Penitentiary off the western coast of Panama. (And btw, this was a real facility, built in 1919.)

“It was like de Garden of Eden run by the devil.”

Then the wild and fertile imagination of the author takes over and another richly drawn tale is borne of tangible components, the island prison, and the flora and fauna.

“Diego stared at him. ‘Because this is Central America, amigo, not Texas. I would be dead two days after they confirmed what I have.’”

Of course the Gang is going to want to be part of this adventure and together they plan an…extraction. In your heart, however, you know there will be the bad guys and these guys are not just bad, they are heinous bad. Atrociously bad—and seems they will stop at nothing. Sheesh!

It may be the “magic juice” that’ll keeps you reading, the amazing characters, or the outrageously descriptive jungle, but I’ve always found Reisig’s writing style to be immensely poignant, his sense of humor lively, and his obvious love of man and animals endearing.

I’ve read most of Reisig’s novels and enjoyed each and every one, including the last Gods, Guns, and Money and thought each was better than the former. The characters are richly drawn, infused with charm and wit while the dialogue is fresh and natural in the wild adventures you’ve come to expect in a Reisig novel.

As always, a delightful escapade, one that fills my head with sights and sounds, heart-pounding exploits, the intelligence of animals, and the themes of love and life. Thoroughly enjoyed and recommended. Just Released, get your copy and escape into adventure!

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Caribbean & Latin American Fiction, Sea Adventures Fiction, Travel Adventure Fiction
Publisher: Clear Creek Press

  • ASIN : B09FN8L8ZD

Print Length: 235 pages
Publication Date: September 8, 2021
Source: Author’s ARC 
Title Link: Amazon

Michael Reisig - authorThe Author: Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 20 years. He is a former Caribbean adventurer turned newspaper editor, award-winning columnist, and best-selling novelist.

After high school and college in Florida, he relocated to the Florida Keys. He established a commercial diving business, got his pilot’s license, and traveled extensively throughout the southern hemisphere, diving, treasure hunting, and adventuring.

Reisig claims he has been thrown out of more countries in the Caribbean Basin that most people ever visit, and he admits that a great many of the situations and the characters in his novels are authentic – but nothing makes a great read like experience…

He now lives in the mountains of Arkansas, where he hunts and fishes, and writes, but he still escapes to the Caribbean for an occasional adventure.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Sea Bandits (Bold Women of the 17th Century Series Book 2) by Amanda Hughes–#BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating:  Five Stars 5 stars

“Boo hags are creatures that feed off the breath of human beings.” 

Book Blurb:

The Sea Bandits by Amanda HughesFor readers who like history with a bit of a love story.

The West Indies 1680-it is a world of violence, greed, and anarchy. Swept into this whirlwind of treachery are two disparate characters: Mercedes Zamora, a former Spanish aristocrat, and Abraxas Kaphiri, a ruthless Egyptian pirate. She is clever and seductive. He is dangerous and powerful. Together they hatch a plan to terrorize the high seas seeking vengeance and plunder. Their enemies call them The Sea Bandits, and they reign supreme as the most hated and feared corsairs in the West Indies and the Barbary Coast. But everything changes when they clash with a malicious nobleman who knows too much. His relentless pursuit threatens to destroy not only their operation but everything they love.
Join Amanda Hughes as she sweeps you back to the days when buccaneers and adventurers ruled the waves, and larger-than-life legends were born.

My Review:

There is a reason Amanda Hughes is one of my favorite authors, she consistently delivers a delicious tale laced with adventure, well-researched tidbits, and a touch of romance.

This novel begins in the year 1677 in Cusco, Peru and develops protagonist Mercedes Zamora as the spoiled offspring of landed aristocrats. She is expected to marry well and a wedding is arranged between she and Felipe Ortiz y Gasset. Felipe, however, is a spoiled monied son with few boundaries and quickly loses his ardour when she becomes pregnant.

The wedding dowry arrangement between families chill considerably when badly managed finances fail resulting in the loss of their home. Felipe (and his family) determines he will move the family to San Juan Bautista and Mercedes finds herself in a new land, new home, no husband, and no way to provide for herself and her twin boys.

The Sea Bandits by Amanda HughesMercedes hasn’t been totally out of the business loop, however. She is smart and has gained sufficient insight to proceed into a shipping business. She has a small, efficient, and loyal team. Then she meets Abraxas Kaphiri, widely known as a Egyptian pirate. Abraxas, much like Jack Sparrow, isn’t all bad, however. In fact, hmm, he actually has some admirable qualities (and he’s easy on the eyes).

I loved the dance between Mercedes and Abraxas that eventually leads to banding together against a common enemy.

The storyline never falters or slows in this well-paced and plotted novel. It’s swash-buckling adventure coupled with Barbary Coast tales of treasures, cargo, rum, and the daily struggle of life in the late 1690’s.

This is Book 2 of the 17th Century series. I also read Book 1, The Firefly Witch. No problem where you come in to each series, whether 17th, 18th, 19th, or 20th Centuries, each is a standalone and can be read in any order. I’ve read at least two books in each century, including the most recent, Vagabond Wind, The House of Five Fortunes, Beneath a Blazing Sky, and The Image Seeker.  If you like strong, trail-blazing womens stories, you’ll greatly enjoy these gripping novels, all different and unique. These are all highly recommended. The Sea Bandits just released and is available now. (Loved it.)

His Review:

The cross-breeding between the Inca and Spanish resulted in beautiful copper skinned offspring. Mercedes Zamora y Huaman de Ortiz was just such a woman. Marriages were often arranged in the 1600’s and the participants often had very little choice in the matter. Class hierarchies were common and inter-marriages between the social stratus were uncommon.

At fourteen, Mercedes is married to Felipe, an eighteen-year-old. The early months were amorous until pregnancy occurred. Then Felipe left for greener pastures and Mercedes was to raise their twin boys.  Her position as an aristocrat in Cusco, Peru left few opportunities for the young mother. Once pregnant her husband had no interest in staying around or visiting her bed. (It was against Catholic doctrine to have sex while pregnant.)

Senora Mercedes Ortiz had to avoid relations with Felipe after the birth of their children. He was also a very poor businessman and had lost a large portion of their lands. As a result, he was moving the family to San Juan Bautista. Mercedes was leaving her home and everything she knew and suddenly Felipe Ortiz was nowhere to be found.

Mercedes is tasked with managing the household and plantation and it becomes a full-time job. She begins running a shipping warehouse and import-export business but additional lands are taken away by a conniving relative.

Mercedes starts Zamora Enterprises and begins a new stage in her life. She sends her sons to Spain for a more formal education and meets Abraxas Kaphiri. This reputed pirate leads her life in a whole new direction.

Amanda Hughes has created a delightful tale of intrigue and danger in a love story between a pirate and a “she-merchant”. You will find it hard to put down. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are our honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Caribbean and Latin American Fiction, Sea Stories, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lillis and Jaymes
ASIN: B09BKHCNLF
Print Length: 253 pages
Publication Date: Just Released! August 19, 2021
Source: Author contact 
Title Link: The Sea Bandits

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

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams The CE and I

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