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.

whitestag900x356RWNEW

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.

images

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!

images

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.

EMAIL: FindingtheRaven@hotmail.com

AUTHOR LINKS: http://www.pattywrites.net/
http://www.facebook.com/pattydicksonpieczka

AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Raven-Patty-Dickson-Pieczka-ebook/dp/B01E11ILY0

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Raven-Patty-Dickson-Pieczka-ebook/dp/B01E11ILY0

AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01E11ILY0

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-the-raven-kitty-bullard/1123657480;jsessionid=6D2E956E5FEC7A2DCE1CFE1E6DB8D898.prodny_store01-atgap10?ean=2940153188065

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/finding-the-raven

GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Patty_Dickson_Pieczka_Finding_the_Raven?id=wevuCwAAQBAJ&hl=en

iBOOKS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1101994244

CREATESPACE: https://www.createspace.com/6173526

 

whitestag900x356

 

 

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.

images

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!

images

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.

http://www.twitter.com/thomaskoury
http://www.facebook.com/thomas.koury
http://www.theoddysey.com/thomas.koury

AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/Synthesis-Stateside-Delusions-T-C-Koury-ebook/dp/B01DKDOTXW

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Synthesis-Stateside-Delusions-T-C-Koury-ebook/dp/B01DKDOTXW

AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01DKDOTXW

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/synthesis-tc-koury/1123601204?ean=2940152828252

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/synthesis-4

GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/T_C_Koury_Synthesis?id=8LzVCwAAQBAJ&hl=en

iBOOKS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/synthesis-legion-stateside/id1097724576?mt=11

CREATESPACE: https://www.createspace.com/6163049

whitestag900x356

RWVT

Book Review – Great Lakes: The Saga of the Inland Seas by Lilly Kirckof

GLKINDLETitle: Great Lakes: The Saga of the Inland Seas by Lilly Kirckof
Genre: Fiction – Historical fiction
Length: 726 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: November 30, 2015
Publisher: White Stag, an imprint of Ravenswood Publishing
Rating – 4/5

Great Lakes, the novel is a tale as wide and deep as the lakes themselves; a rare combination of history, romance and, “what just might have been,” rolled into a read so fascinating it is literally impossible to put down.

From the earliest days of the old “wind wagons” to the steel behemoths of today, Great Lakes, sails into the drama, mystery and outright treachery of the dark side of navigating the lakes. Screaming “nor’easter’s” and back-stabbing corporate boardrooms all form part of the novel’s captivating saga of the sweetwater seas.

As an historian reading “historical novels” has always been like scraping fingernails down chalkboards for me. The plot may have been believable but the scope of the times was so misunderstood and characters mere poorly constructed cardboard cutouts, the book invariably collapsed of its own ponderous ineptness.

By contrast Great Lakes, is everything a historical novel should be; rich in history with an overarching storyline balancing nicely between fact and fiction, believable characters, a narrative rarely told; all set against a backdrop that while we think we understand it, surprises keep emerging from the shadows.

Great Lakes, the novel is certain to become a classic for the inland Seas.

~~ Fred Stonehouse

images

TGIF! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Great Lakes: The Saga of the Inland Seas by Lilly Kirckof. Thank you to the author and Ravenswood Publishing for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

Great Lakes: The Saga of the Inland Seas is a historical saga centering around the Great Lakes and the Gilster family.

I am generally a fan of historical fiction but I have only read a few that centered around seafaring life so I wasn’t sure if I would like this book. I went into my reading of it without any expectations and was pleasantly surprised to find that I rather enjoyed reading it. It is definitely NOT light reading as it definitely is a story that is epic in scope and has a bit of length to it as well. I have read books about families but I don’t believe that I have ever read a family saga and I must say that I rather quite liked it.

I loved the writing. I am a huge fan of detailed and somewhat dense writing. I love the storytelling aspect that we get from that kind of writing that really builds up the world and paints a history rife with descriptive elements and events, I especially enjoy this in fictional stories that are based on historical events or settings. That really makes a story like this feel real to me. This book had that kind of writing and I really enjoyed it.

While I can’t say that I am a great fan of maritime literature, I can definitely attest to the fact that I thought this book enjoyable – there were quite a few aspects that I enjoyed like the danger and the romance that this type of lifestyle possessed.  I ended up giving it four stars because I enjoyed it greatly. I will admit that I didn’t get into right away with the prologue but I did start getting into it in the first chapter so that is still pretty good! I think historical fiction fans, especially of lengthy dramatic historical fiction sagas would definitely enjoy this! You can purchase a copy at one of the links below!

images

About the AuthorLK!

AUTHOR BIO:  Lilly Kirckof is a Mechanical Piping Estimator and builds cars in her spare time. She recently completed, with help, an “Eleanor” Mustang from “Gone in 60 Seconds.” She is a certified Nitrox diver under Richie Kohler and an SCCA GT1 race car driver. She is currently writing her next fiction novel.

 
AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016CN544A
AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B016CN544A
BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/great-lakes-lilly-kirckof/1120032353?ean=2940150811492
KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/great-lakes-1
GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lilly_Kirckof_Great_Lakes?id=122qCgAAQBAJ&hl=en
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/583288
iBOOKS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/great-lakes-saga-inland-seas/id1047116790?mt=11
CREATESPACE: https://www.createspace.com/5785086