Blog Tour Book Review: Stones Don’t Speak by Gry Finsnes

34080564Title: Stones Don’t Speak by Gry Finsnes
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 311 pages
Format: E-Book (ARC)
Publisher: White Stag (an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing)
Publication Date: February 25, 2017
Rating – 4 stars

1941, Norway. The population tries to cope with the German occupation. After her successful debut concert as a pianist, Ellen Langmo, resists the Nazis who want to use her talent in their endeavor to convince people that Hitler’s ideas are right. At the same time the resistance movements begin to take form and her friends want to involve her. Trying to escape the conflicting and dangerous demands, she flees from Oslo to Stavanger on the West Coast where life is calmer. She is still looking for Friedrich but tries to accept his death when she has a strange encounter.

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Stones Don’t Speak. I’d like to thank the author and the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review of it.

Stone’s Don’t Speak is a historical fiction romance set during Hitler’s regime and the Nazi occupation of Norway. The story centers around Ellen, a professional pianist whose fiancee has disappeared without a trace and who finds herself being pulled in different directions because of her unique talent and associations she made in trying to find her fiancee. Her fellow Norwegians start to see her as compassionate to the Nazi agenda due to events in her past and her attempt to befriend a German officer in order to get information for the resistance. In the midst of all of this, her missing fiancee and the love they shared is never far from her mind.

It has been a couple of months I think since I last read a book that was set during WWII. Every time I return to that time period in a book, I am completely blown away by the tragedy, the danger and even the hope that is found there. This book definitely added to that for me. I really enjoyed this book, especially our main character Ellen. I thought she was great and really believable. The whole book I found myself rooting for her and for Freddie, hoping against all hope that they would be reunited somehow, some way. I felt the danger she felt as she was placed in these situations that I imagine would be harrowing to be in.  I enjoyed working through her struggles with her.

What I liked most about this book though was the writing. I thought it was beautifully written. It was one of those books where you can smell what the character is smelling and taste what they are tasting. I especially can’t get the opening scene out of my mind because I think it was just so beautifully done. It completely hooked me on the first paragraph. It was a slower read but most historical fiction books are because they unpack a lot and this one definitely had to give the reader a little bit of background on Ellen’s past and of course, the political atmosphere of her world at the time. While I thought the romance aspect of this book was good, I don’t think it was the thing that stood out the most for me. What I took out of it was of course all the tragedy that occurs but also what I focused on alot during this story was the resistance and Ellen’s place in it. I was also struck by all of the women who took the reins in the movement whether it be gathering and dissemination of information by spying or being  a leader of a resistance group. I really enjoyed this book, four stars from me!

If you love historical fiction with romance and danger, this one may be for you!

image descriptionGry Finsnes, Norwegian, has lived in Sweden, India, England, Germany and France. After university studies in Oslo in French and English literature, she started her career as a teacher, but had to give it up as she moved out of the country. She has published two thrillers in Swedish but has recently written in English.


Sale Alert: Ravenswood Publishing Christmas $.99 Sale!!


Hello everyone!! Happy Holidays! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season so far. I wanted to take a moment and alert everyone to a pretty rad sale going on at Ravenswood Publishing. All of their E-books are on sale for just $.99 cents until January 1st. I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing quite a few books from this publishing company over the last two years and I have read some really great books published by them. You can click on the graphic above to be taken to their site!

I have some reviews and posts coming up this week so I will see you all then! Have a wonderful Monday…I also hope the weather is treating all of you kindly!

Happy Reading!

Blog Tour Book Review: The Quest for Merlin (Magimakía Book One) by Rafael Lovato

mtqfmkindleTitle: The Quest for Merlin (Magimakía Book One) by Rafael Lovato
Genre: Fiction – YA Fantasy
Publisher: Howling Wolf, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Page count: 286 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: June 30, 2016
Rating – 3/5!!

“The Quest for Merlin” is the first book of the Young Adult fantasy series “Magimakía”, goblin word meaning “The Great Battle of Mages and Witches.”

Follow Oliver’s journey, a skinny, naive 15 year old boy who knows nothing about magic, let alone how to survive high school as a bullied and outcast teen, as he attempts to help save the Order of Mages from destined extinction.

Kidnapped by a midget goblin and his troll cohorts, Oliver’s only hope is to learn the whereabouts of the all powerful Merlin who has been missing for over 500 years.

With the help of two witches, Avery and Violet, Oliver begins his journey in a world full of potions, spells, and bubbling cauldrons, learning a lot about witchcraft and magic.

You will be spellbound as you are transported into this amazing landscape where anything could happen, as tragic events unfold that could keep Oliver from saving Merlin and the entire world of Mages and Witches!


Good morning! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book!

Oliver has grown up thinking that he was just like any other kid. Little does he know that he comes from the bloodline of the famous wizard Merlin and is part of a magical world existing simultaneously with the not-so-magical world full of characters like wizards, goblins, demons and more. When this world seems on the verge of war, Oliver is taken and plunged into this unknown world in order to find his famous ancestor, who has been hidden away for years.

I have always been deeply fascinated by the wizard Merlin, so I was totally here for a story involving him.

The way the story was told felt a little weird to me and took a little getting used to. It jumped from the goblins telling the story to other goblins to our main character’s perspective and inner thoughts. That was a bit confusing to me and seemed a bit awkward but I was able to work with it even though I never quite got 100% used to it.

That being said there are definitely things I liked about the magic system and about this world. I liked the plot to this book, I thought it was entertaining. I wasn’t necessarily a fan of the main character but I did enjoy following him on his journey and seeing him interact with some of the other characters he encounters. I was really interested in the idea of a character who was previously unaware of this world being confronted with ideas and seemingly “out of this world” things like demons, magic and the surprise of his famed lineage. Although I wasn’t crazy about the main character, I did enjoy that he wasn’t perfect – he was scrawny, awkward and insecure. That did make him more human to me even if I didn’t quite connect with him. I loved the use of color to distinguish between magics and I also enjoyed the use of portals to access worlds or dimensions. That really pulled me in.

I am giving this book a 3 star review as I liked and enjoyed this book. Fans of YA fantasy may enjoy it!

P.S. This is a really cool book cover, love it!


rafaAbout the Author

Rafael Lovato is a Brazilian author with six books published commercially in Brazil, and one in Portugal, “Magimakía, a busca por Merlin”. This is his first book published in the US. In 2014, the prestigious Oxford University Press bought one of his award-winning short stories to use in their courseware as writing model to teach students, already published in the book “Portuguese language for 6th Grade”, by Oxford.

AMAZON US:ía-Book-ebook/dp/B01EI2R4V8

AMAZON UK:ía-Book-ebook/dp/B01EI2R4V8


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Blog Tour Book Review: Finding the Raven by Patty Dickson Pieczka

ftrbannerftr2kindleTitle: Finding the Raven by Patty Dickson Pieczka
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher: White Stag, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Page count: 292pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: June 15, 2016
Rating – 4/5!!

When Julia Dulac’s father is murdered onstage and her inheritance is swindled away, she must work through her grief and fear of poverty to find both the killer and a means of survival with help from the Raven, a black crystal that reveals images of past and future truths. While having the crystal appraised, Julia finds love and her life takes unexpected turns through mystery and betrayal against the backdrop of the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

Through the boarding house window, Julia overhears an argument between Rose and her wealthy father over Rose’s illegitimate pregnancy. He drops Rose off, saying he will return in one year, that she must be either single and childless or respectably married. Though from completely different backgrounds, Julia and Rose become fast friends, facing lessons of survival and redemption as their fates become irrevocably entwined.


Happy Tuesday! Today I am bringing you my review of Finding the Raven by Patty Dickson Pieczka. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of it.

Finding the Raven follows the story of two young women who find their world’s torn apart, one by a surprise pregnancy that causes her parents to send her away and another by the unexpected death of her father. They find themselves in the same city at the same boarding house and they fast become friends that help each other find their way in the world on their own.

I have had the good luck of reading some really good books lately and Finding the Raven is definitely among them. I thought that the cover to this book was beautiful and I was also pulled in the by the description. Having not read much historical fiction lately, it was easy for me to get wrapped up in this book from the beginning. Altogether it took me about a day to read, which is pretty fast for me because I had to read it during my breaks at work and such, so as you can tell I found it pretty difficult to put this book down.

I definitely loved the multiple perspectives used in telling the story but my favorites of course, were that of Julia and Rose. I loved seeing their friendship blossom and just really loved seeing their individual stories and the struggles they overcome. While I don’t think they are the most complex characters, I thought they were both pretty enjoyable and their struggles fit with the time period this book takes place in.

The ending fell a little flat for me and seemed a little rushed compared to the rest of the book but I did enjoy it and would definitely be up for reading more from this author! I think a second book would definitely answer some of the questions I still had about Julia and Monroe’s ending, as well as the crystal and the ravens but I’m not sure if that is a thing. Overall, this story was absorbing and enjoyable. I recommend checking it out and I am giving it four stars. I feel like it was historical fiction with a little light fantasy, I found that blend to be really interesting and it worked really well. I thought the description of the fair was intoxicating and I would have loved to see a little more of it. If you are looking for an absorbing historical fiction read with light fantasy elements, you may enjoy this story!


About the Authorpdp

Patty Dickson Pieczka’s second book, Painting the Egret’s Echo,, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from Bitter Oleander Press. Other books are Lacing through Time, and Word Paintings. Winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Contest, the I SPS contest, and the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest, she’s contributed to over fifty journals and graduated from Southern Illinois University’s creative writing program.






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Blog Tour Book Review – Synthesis: Legion of Stateside Delusions by T.C. Koury

– SLOSDNOOK.jpgTitle: Synthesis: Legion of Stateside Delusions  by T.C. Koury
Genre: Fiction – Suspense
Length: 379
Format: Ebook
Publication date: June 5, 2016
Publisher: White Stag, an Imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Rating: 4/5

When Jim Sinclair and two college friends synthesize a million doses of LSD as a means of financing a post-graduation road trip across country and living expenses for their first few years on their own, they had no idea of the nightmare they would unleash. In a ‘down the rabbit hole’ experience worthy of Alice in Wonderland, the boys’ journey becomes ever more bizarre as they run afoul of the police, violent biker gangs, rogue federal agents and a mysterious clutch of powerful men who seem to guide events toward an unknown and frightening climax.

Synthesis: Legion of Stateside Delusions is a strange, twisted tale not to be missed by lovers of adventure and mystery.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of it.

Synthesis: Legion of Stateside Delusions is a fictional story about a group of three friends that, weeks shy of their college graduation, create LSD out of stolen ingredients from their school’s chemistry department. After an LSD outbreak at a fraternity party, they decide to run and go road tripping across the US leaving an LSD trail behind them not knowing that they are being followed for a rather surprising reason.

From the cover and the description, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Synthesis, but what I found was a pretty good read. I ended up enjoying my time with Synthesis, it was really well written. I really loved the author’s writing style which was highly descriptive and intellectual. Reading this book reminded me that the bulk of the books I read feature female protagonists and it was interesting to read about a cast of mostly male characters.

I thought the story itself was fun and it’s twists were things that I didn’t anticipate. It was also filled with a chase across different states, danger, and betrayal. There were also mentions of some of my favorite things like conspiracy theories and secret fraternities. I loved how the story took these things were molded into the overall story, it was just very surprising and a really cool treat to have encountered these things in this book all together. That was really really cool and something that I would never have expected. I loved how this book featured a very original spin on a drug that most of us have heard of but currently hear very little of.

It was definitely a very interesting and unique story, not like anything I have ever read. I love books that have weird subjects and this was definitely a plot that I have not encountered. I would definitely recommend giving this book a try if you are in the mood for something different. I read it in one sitting! Four stars from me!


tckAbout the Author

I was born and raised in Alabama to a military father and an elementary school teacher mother. I had very humble beginnings, but my family moved around quite a bit after September 11, 2001. My little brother and I were the best of friends growing up, and we were all each other had while living in Virginia for part of 2003 before moving back to Alabama. Upon our return, we discovered that our mother was expecting another child and our youngest brother was born in 2004, completing the trio. I am currently on track to finish my undergraduate degree in applied mathematics, and the changes we experienced growing up allowed me to adapt to things quite easily and pursue many different activities. I have travelled from east coast to west coast, and all across Italy and parts of Europe. I enjoy variety, which is why my hobbies include reading, writing, playing guitar, craft-beer tasting, traveling, and playing basketball. I hope to move to Los Angeles, California following my graduation in May 2016 and pursue acting, journalism, screenplay writing, and continue writing novels.











Blog Tour Book Review: Eye of the North Wind by B.Y. Yan


Title: Eye of the North  by B.Y. Yan
Genre: Medieval Fantasy
Length: 425 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date: April 23, 2016
Publisher: Chimera, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Rating: 4/5

Deep in the dunes a crippled son has come on the advice of his renowned father to earn into the illustrious Hundreds of the Wasteland King, before being robbed by an unhappy misunderstanding.  But where a door closes a literal window of opportunity opens, and he soon finds himself accompanying his master in search of a missing army.
The young monarch, however, knows nothing of his presence or contributions. And for the sake of his pride he must never learn he has a secret protector—even when contending with the indomitable courage of harlots, laying claim to the wealth of Creatures of Calamity, or facing down the wrath of Dead Gods. 

That is, unless the Greatest Standard Bearer to ever stand at the king’s side chooses to come clean to uphold his promise at the cost of everything he has achieved in a world of scrap, fire, and iron.


Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Eye of the North Wind by B.Y. Yan. I’d like to send a big thank you to the author B.Y. Yan and the publisher Ravenswood Publishing for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

Eye of the North Wind was a pleasant surprise for me! I haven’t read a medieval fantasy, especially one like this, in a very long time. Being a huge fan of medieval literature, early literature in general, I was immediately taken with this book. I loved the writing, it definitely had the feel of medieval literature. It was very detailed in the descriptions of the setting and the people. I really enjoyed the characters in this story, there were quite a few but I didn’t feel like it was over saturated with characters so  I appreciated that. I was intrigued and humored the entire time I read this book, I just thought it was such a treat to read a book that was written like this. It reminded me somewhat of my high school days reading Chaucer.

Although I enjoyed it, I do feel that there is a learning curve with books written like this. Not everyone can enjoy a book in this genre set in this time period and some may find it hard to follow because the language is different from the every day spoken language of the present. But, if you are someone who really enjoys books that take place during medieval times and deals with nobility; politics; quests and sword fight, then you will enjoy this book! I am giving it four stars! Did I mention how much I love the cover? ❤


About the Author8115115

B.Y. Yan is a Chinese-Canadian author who has spent most of his time with education learning everything that is necessary to become a writer. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario but spends most of his time travelling between two opposite points on the globe on business to Beijing with his wife Jeane, sometimes accompanied by a giant orange tabby cat. In his spare time he has maintained the same great love since childhood for stories told through every medium imaginable.




TWTBANNERTWTNOOKTitle: The Witching Time  by Rachel Faugno
Genre: Horror, Suspense, Romance
Length: 273 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date: April 20, 2016
Publisher: Craigh na Dun, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Rating: 4/5

Caroline Burdick is still mourning the death of her toddler son when she inherits an isolated old house from her great aunt Hetty, a woman she barely knew. But the unexpected windfall comes with a catch: she must live in the house for six months to claim her inheritance.

Set on a lonely hilltop in Brookfield, Massachusetts, the house terrifies Caroline, as does her aunt’s menacing companion Sarah Stratton, who has stayed on as housekeeper. Even more disturbing are the repeated appearances of Bathsheba Spooner, a distant relative who was hanged for murder in 1778, and the discovery that Hetty was high priestess of an ancient coven of witches.

The only light amidst the darkness is a beautiful young man named Eddy Ross, with whom Caroline falls helplessly in love. But that fleeting joy cannot save her from the deadly maelstrom of witchcraft and family secrets that shatter her world.


Happy Monday!! I’m excited to kick off this week and a whole new month with my thoughts and review on The Witching Time by Rachel Faugno . I’d like to send a big thank you to both the author and the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book for the tour in exchange for my honest review of it.

The Witching Time is about a young woman who has just recently lost her young son in a freak accident. Still grieving over his death she goes to visit the property that has been willed to her by her estranged aunt who has also recently passed. Intent on selling the place and getting back to trying to pick up the pieces of her life, she is surprised to find that her aunt has written surprise requirements in her will that cause Caroline to stay on the property longer than expected. But the house feels strange and the stories she learns about her family and the history of the town are just as unsettling leading to more than she bargained for.

It has been a long while since I have read a witch-y story and I didn’t know how much I missed witch-y stories until now. I had a lot of fun reading this book and I really wish I had read it around Halloween.

I thought the book and the plot were really well written. It had a very spooky feel to it right from the start which I appreciated and totally put me in the mood to read more books in the horror genre. It was very well written and well paced, it caught my attention immediately and held it throughout. I loved our main character Caroline and I found myself really feeling for her at various times throughout the novel, I commiserated with her and grieved with her. I was spooked with her and just generally connected with her.

It was a very light read for me, definitely possible to read it in one sitting due to both length and pacing.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. When it began it had a historical fiction feel to it because of the witch hunt vibe so that is what I initially thought the rest of the story was going to feel like but no, it was even better because it was certainly felt very dark and spooky throughout. I have always been fascinated with Wicca, witches and nature and this book was such a treat for me to read. I am giving this book four stars since I enjoyed it so much and I recommend if you love books about witches or want to get in the “Halloween is coming” mood.


About the AuthorRFaugno_011

Rachel Faugno, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, makes her home in central Massachusetts. She teaches English at a community college and has worked as a newspaper correspondent, freelance writer, and magazine editor.

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