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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? May 30 Edition



Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

My month of May has been crazy. My kids have been finishing up projects and getting ready for exams. Can't believe school will be out soon and summer is suddenly upon us. Loving the hot sunny days! Finally...

Got two great books in my mailbox!

The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron

What is revealed when you draw back the curtain of the Greatest Show on Earth?

Rosamund Easling is no stranger to opulence. As the daughter of an earl, she’s grown up with every comfort money can buy. But when hard times befall the family’s Yorkshire estate in the aftermath of the Great War, Rosamund’s father sells her beloved horse, setting the stage for a series of events that would extend beyond even her wildest dreams.

Though expected to marry for a title instead of love, Rosamund feels called to a different life – one of adventure outside the confines of a ladies’ parlor. She abandons all she’s known and follows in pursuit as her horse is shipped to the new owner – an American entertainer by the name of John Ringling. Once introduced to the Ringling Brothers’ circus and knowing she has much to learn, Rosamund agrees to a bareback riding apprenticeship in the shadow of the Ringlings’ winter home—Ca’D’Zan. It is at that mansion, in what would become the last days of the enigmatic Mable Ringling’s life, that Rosamund finds a deeper sense of purpose in the life she’s been given, and the awakening of faith in her heart.

With a supporting cast of characters as mysterious and dazzling as the Ringlings’ big-top world, Rosamund’s journey takes her from the tradition of the English countryside to the last days of America’s Roaring ‘20s—a journey that forever changes what one life might have been.


Like a River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hopeThe city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little--known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Fuhrer's plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.






It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


Posts From Last Two Weeks:

The Florentine Deception by Carey Nachenberg (Audiobook Review and Giveaway!)


Kid Konnection: The I Love My Body Book by Lisa Lynn

The Berlin Package by Peter Riva



Up Next:


Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.


Hope you all have a great reading week.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Florentine Deception by Carey Nachenberg (Audiobook Review and Giveaway!)


A seemingly mundane computer clean-up leads to an electrifying quest for an enigmatic—and deadly—treasure in this gripping techno-thriller.
Book Details:

Book Title:  The Florentine Deception by Carey Nachenberg
Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 336 pages
Genre:  Mystery, Techno-thriller, Amateur Sleuth
Publisher:  Open Road
Release date:  Sept 1, 2015
Content Rating:  PG-13 (for profanity: lots of f-bombs and religious expletives, and some violence)

Book Description:

A seemingly mundane computer clean-up leads to an electrifying quest for an enigmatic—and deadly—treasure in this gripping techno-thriller.

After selling his dorm-room startup for millions and effectively retiring at the age of twenty-five, Alex Fife is eager for a new challenge. When he agrees to clean up an old PC as a favor, he never expects to find the adventure of a lifetime waiting for him inside the machine. But as he rummages through old emails, Alex stumbles upon a startling discovery: The previous owner, a shady antiques smuggler, had been trying to unload a mysterious object known as the Florentine on the black market. And with the dealer’s untimely passing, the Florentine is now unaccounted for and ripe for the taking. Alex dives headfirst into a hunt for the priceless object.

​What starts out as a seemingly innocuous pursuit quickly devolves into a nightmare when Alex discovers the true technological nature of the Florentine. Not just a lost treasure, it’s something far more insidious: a weapon that could bring the developed world to its knees. Alex races through subterranean grottos, freezing morgues, and hidden cellars in the dark underbelly of Los Angeles, desperate to find the Florentine before it falls into the wrong hands. Because if nefarious forces find it first, there’ll be nothing Alex—or anyone else—can do to prevent a catastrophic attack.

The author is donating all of his proceeds from sales of The Florentine Deception to charities to help underprivileged and low-income students.

1,620 books sold$8,173.00 donated as of December 31st (with $182 pending)!

Let's help him reach his goal of selling 2,000 books and donating $10,000!

Visit http://florentinedeception.weebly.com/charities.html to see the list of charities. 

​Buy the audiobook:  Amazon  ~  Audible
Buy the book:   Amazon  ~  
Barnes & Noble


My Review:

Reviewed by Laura Fabiani
Leading cyber-security expert and author Carey Nachenberg takes his readers on a whirlwind ride with his thrilling debut novel. From a simple clean-up of an old computer, the protagonist Alex Fife makes a startling discovery that has him running for his life while trying to prevent a world-wide disaster.
Nachenberg creates a fast-paced plot that catches one's interest from the first page and builds up the suspense so that I was unable to put the book down or stop listening to the audiobook as the danger hikes up in this very plausible scenario. Thank goodness for the good-natured banter between friends and that memorable hilarious scene when Alex takes his head-strong grandpa with him to search for a missing clue in a morgue. 
The cave scene had my heart palpitating and there were some nail-biting moments. The action was almost non-stop, with twists and turns and plenty of bad guys to get the adrenaline going. 
Alex was a likeable character and he was well-developed. The storyline was good and as far as cyber thrillers go, the author made it easy for the average reader to understand what was going on. There were only two female characters and both played minor roles. I was hoping for Linda to play more of a role in Alex's life since she made a great kick-ass female ready to accompany him on dangerous missions.
I decided to both read the book and listen to the audiobook. The narrator, Nick Podehl did a fantastic job with the narration, switching effortlessly from one character to another and from the narration to speech. His accents for the Russian and Iranian voices were amazing. And Alex's voice stood out from the other male voices. Even his female voices were good.

There were plenty of f-bombs and religious expletives in this book, too much for my reading taste. I can take the occasional swearing but it mars my reading experience when there is too much of it. Apart from this, Nachenberg's debut thriller is a hit and will certainly please fans of action thrillers.
Watch the trailer:



Meet the Author:




Carey Nachenberg is Symantec Corporation's Chief Engineer and is considered one of the inventors of Norton AntiVirus. As Chief Engineer, Carey drives the technical strategy for all of Symantec's core security technologies and security content. He has led the design and development of Symantec's core antivirus, intrusion prevention and reputation-based security technologies; his work in these areas have garnered over eighty-five United States patents.

In addition to his work in the cyber-security field, Carey has also recently published his first novel, a cyber-security thriller entitled “The Florentine Deception,” and is donating all proceeds from sales of the novel to charities supporting underserved students and veterans. Carey holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from University of California at Los Angeles, where he continues to serve as Adjunct Professor of Computer Science.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!


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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Berlin Package by Peter Riva (Review and Giveaway!)


Once again, Peter Riva deftly immerses his readers in another intelligent thriller starring the altruistic film-producer-turned-field agent Pero Baltazar.

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Berlin Package by Peter Riva
Category:  Adult fiction, 320 pages
Genre:  Thriller / Crime
PublisherYucca Publishing / Skyhorse Publishing
Release date:  April 26, 2016
-Content Rating:  PG-13 (There is some violence, a stabbing for example and lots of profanity - a few f-words but mainly religious expletives)

Book Description:

Film producer Pero Baltazar thought he was taking a Berlin filming assignment. He needed the work, needed to get back in the saddle after fighting off a life-threatening experience in East Africa—alShabaab had attacked his crew, intent on a much larger terrorist attack. Suddenly he finds himself under orders from his part-time employers at the State Department and the CIA when he is handed a mysterious package. It’s an assignment he doesn't want. The problem is, it’s a job contracted by mysterious patrons who are prepared to kill him if he doesn't deliver.

Pero—now in far too deep—turns to friends, old and new, to help him unravel the mystery of the package, uncover connections to Nazi concentration camp gold recently sold by the US Treasury, and thwart the ex–Stasi chief, now head of a powerful banking group.

In this fast-paced sequel to Murder on Safari, Pero calls on Mbuno, his friend and East African safari guide, to anticipate the moves of his enemies as if they were animals—dangerous vermin—who have kidnapped both the film star and director. Mbuno’s tracking skills may keep them from getting killed—provided Pero can rope in more help and keep the CIA at bay.

Exhilarating and expertly crafted, The Berlin Package (Yucca Publishing; April 2016) is a gripping, page-turning thriller set in post–German reunification Europe. 

Praise for Berlin Package
“An explosive radioactive thriller written with intelligence. . . . The reluctant spy motif works grandly. . . . An extremely thoughtful and terrifying exposure of the dangers inherent in a nuclear world.”
  —Ron Lealos, author of Pashtun and Don’t Mean Nuthin’ 


My Review
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Once again, Peter Riva deftly immerses his readers in another intelligent thriller starring the altruistic film-producer-turned-field agent Pero Baltazar. The Berlin Package is actually the sequel to Murder on Safari, which I loved, but it would do well as a stand-alone too.

There are several things that I liked about this novel. Let's start with the book cover. I love Europe, Rome in particular. The lit ruins in the background with a man on the run really appealed to my Italian heritage. Next, I liked that it was set in Europe--Germany and Switzerland to be exact. My sister lives in Switzerland and I have visited Zurich and driven south to the Lugano area. Breathtaking!

Now, for the characters. Riva has created memorable characters in Pero and Mbuno and this time taken their relationship up a notch. Not surprisingly, Pero is again caught up in a bad situation, this time between the US government and the sadistic work of an ex-Stasi chief, a ruthless and powerful man who will stop at nothing to get the mysterious package that has been entrusted to Pero without his consent.

It was fun revisiting some of the same characters, friends that Pero counts on. And we also meet new characters from Pero's past, his school days to be exact. The themes of friendship and teamwork resurface in this novel, making this thriller more than just an action adventure. A love interest is touched upon for Pero, our smart and perfectly flawed hero. As a woman I would have liked a kick-ass woman next to Pero as he lived his adventures. Oh, I liked his love interest all right. She was intelligent yet vulnerable, but she was mainly in the background.

The plot. There is a connection to the Nazi concentration camp gold. As a reader I was astounded by what is still happening in Germany and between powerful governments. Through the help of brilliant scientists and his African tracker, Pero gets in deep and sees it to the end, of course. Pero is on the run and we get to know him better. He risks his life, makes stupid mistakes but knows he's doing the right thing and keeps going. He is a very likable guy.

As is Riva's trademark, he shares his extensive knowledge of filming, politics, Europe and animal behaviour with his readers. Mostly from Pero's point of view. It's impossible not to learn interesting things through his books, which is one of the reasons I like them so much. That and his very human characters out to save the world!

Read my reviews of Peter Riva's other books:

The Path: Book 1 of the Tag series
Reaching Angelica: Book 2 of the Tag series
Murder on Safari


To read more reviews, please visit Peter Riva's page on iRead Book Tours.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


Buy the book:  

Amazon   


Meet the Author:


Peter Riva has spent many months over 30 years travelling throughout Africa and Europe. Much of this time was spent with the legendary guides for East African hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series in 1995 called Wild Things for Paramount. Passing on the fables, true tales, and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is his passion. Nonetheless, his job for over forty years has been working as a literary agent. In his spare time, Riva writes science fiction and African adventure books. He lives in Gila, New Mexico. 

Connect with the author: Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook


Enter the Giveaway!

Win 1 of 5 sets of print copies of Murder on Safari and The Berlin Package and
1 of 2 $25 Amazon gift cards (open internationally)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Kid Konnection: The I Love My Body Book by Lisa Lynn





Book Details:

Title: The I Love My Body Book by Lisa Lynn
Category: Children's Nonfiction
Publisher: LynFit Nutrition
Published: June 30, 2015
Paperback, 52 pages
Content Rating: General


Book Description:

As parents, one of the toughest jobs we face is teaching our children how to love themselves and their bodies the way God made them. For kids, this isn't always easy. When kids don't love themselves for who they are they have a tendency to not eat healthfully or pay attention to taking care of the body that God gave them. Self-love is the best way to teach our children how to take care of themselves by eating nutritiously, exercising, learning to express our feelings and being grateful for what we have vs. what we don't have. "The I Love My Body Book" addresses all of the issues kids face (adults too). This book is a must have for every household who wants to be physically and emotionally healthy. Parents say they love this book to as it makes these principals easy to do. A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to Global Foundation For Eating Disorders.


Our Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani & her son Alessio 

Both my son and I agree that this is an important book. With its bright blue pages and simple bright illustrations, this eye-catching little book with its simple text packs a punch because it is affirmative.




When each phrase begins with "I love my..." a child learns to see their bodies as they were meant to be seen, in a positive light. But author and fitness expert Lisa Lynn does more than just speak about body parts, she includes all of the person by including the mind, feelings, personality and soul. She also speaks openly about how God sees us and loves us just as we are.

In a world where children are not given much spiritual education this book is simply wonderful, including God in a child's life in a powerful way. My son and I liked that very much. My son liked the blue pages and the illustrations. We both thought they were cute.

My son did note however, that of all the children depicted, none of them were black or Asian. He said that in a book about learning to like oneself, it would be good to include different races because many times this is the source of prejudices and why kids might not like themselves. I had not noticed this but he did, making me realize that children are very perceptive.

This is a very good starter book for young children to teach them about positive body image and self-esteem.

Learn more about the importance of positive self-image and the important role parents play in building this in their children by watching and listening to this message by the author:





Buy the Book:



About the Author:



Lisa Lynn has devoted nearly three decades of her career to personal training, specializing in metabolic weight loss and performance nutrition. Coupled with her vast experience in the field of fitness and nutrition, she has earned four educational certificates from the International Sports and Sciences Association's Professional Division including: Certified Fitness Trainer, Specialist in Performance Nutrition, Fitness Therapy and Elite Trainer. Lynn's years of research in metabolic boosting and performance nutrition resulted in the development of the Leaner Lifestyle Series, specifically designed to promote healthy fat loss by boosting the most sluggish and stubborn metabolisms. She is best known for her 13 years as Martha Stewart's personal trainer who has said, "Lisa is the only trainer that made a difference." Lynn is also a regular go-to nutrition and fitness expert on the Dr. Oz Show appearing in two of his highest rated episodes.


Disclosure: We bought this book on Amazon and all opinions expresses here are our own.


Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

Friday, May 13, 2016

PROMO DAY 2016: A Special Online Event for Writers and Authors

If you're a writer or an author, PROMO DAY is a great way to get industry advice and to learn more about promotion. Check it out!

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Thousands of writing and marketing industry professionals from around the world will gather to celebrate #PromoDay2016, a special online event dedicated to promoting, networking and learning. Industry experts will share actionable ideas and information with tactics and strategies that will help you further your writing career and improve your book marketing efforts.

Over 10 presenters, one whole day of free presentations! You'll also benefit from the networking opportunities that will connect you with presenters and attendees from around the globe.

No travel required!

You simply attend from the comfort of your own home or office. Register today for this free event.

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I will be part of a live panel on Saturday May 14 at 9 am EST. Join us as we talk all about virtual book tours.




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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Murder on Safari by Peter Riva (Review & Giveaway!)


Only a reality TV producer and an expert safari guide can stop a terrorist attack.

Book Details:

Book Title: Murder on Safari: A Thriller by Peter Riva
Category: Adult fiction, 352 pages
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Yucca / Skyhorse
Release date: April 28, 2015
Content Rating: PG-13 (for profanity: one or two f-words and religious expletives, moderate violence)


Book Description:

Only a reality TV producer and an expert safari guide can stop a terrorist attack.

Every adventure starts at the fringes of civilization. For expert safari guide Mbuno and wildlife television producer Pero Baltazar, filming in the wild of East Africa should have been a return to the adventure they always loved. This time they’d be filming soaring vultures in northern Kenya and giant sea crocodiles in Tanzania with Mary, the daughter of the world’s top television evangelist, the very reverend Jimmy Threte.

But when a terrorist cell places them in the crosshairs, there is suddenly no escape and they must put their filming aside and combine all their talents to thwart an all-out al-Shabaab terrorist attack on Jimmy Threte’s Christian gathering of hundreds of thousands in Nairobi, Kenya.


My Review
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

If you're looking for an intelligent thriller, one that will take you through the dusty, dangerous dirt roads of Africa as a TV filming crew fight to stay alive and stop a terrorist plot, then you must read Murder on Safari. Author Peter Riva introduces his readers to the real Africa, from his legendary guide in East Africa, Mbuno of Liangulu to the joys of filming wildlife. I was enthralled as I read this novel.

This is the third book I read by Peter Riva. The first two were of the sci-fi/cyberpunk genre which I enjoyed. They were The Path and Reaching Angelica. Riva takes on a different genre with this latest thriller series with his star protagonist Pero Baltazar, and I must say, he does it very well. Although very different from his sci-fi novels, there are certain elements that remain the same, such as Riva's attention to details, his vivid imagination, and a protagonist who is a smart-man-turned-hero in a time of crisis.

Riva creates a great cast of characters and unlike some thrillers where character development is sacrificed for the sake of non-stop action, adventure, and a complex plot, this is not the case here. Oh, there is plenty of action and adventure and the plot is good, but the characters are well developed with backstory to clue us into their motivations and actions. The characters are likable and Riva does not shy away from having them show emotions. For example, there is Heep, the master cinematographer who deeply feels responsible if someone is hurt while filming with him. Readers can relate to these characters. The theme of friendship is also strong in this book as it was in Reaching Angelica.

Furthermore, the setting itself is like a character because it is such an integral part of the story. As I said before, Riva shows us an Africa that is real, that is both majestic and terrifying. It is clear that his abundant experience in filming (he created a TV series in 1995 called Wild Things for Paramount that ran for 78 episodes) and in travel (he's traveled in over 60 countries) shines through in this novel. Riva includes details that only someone who has spent considerable time in Africa would know, not touristy stuff either. I loved it!

There are memorable and emotional scenes in this book: when Pero makes the decision to let the vultures hide evidence, when Mary has an encounter with a giant sea crocodile, when a tribe father takes action against his son, when Pero is ready to sacrifice his life to save thousands...such great scenes that make this more than just a good thriller.

A note on the main character's name Baltazar. It caught my attention because the first time I encountered that name was when I read Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace (first published by Harper & Brothers in 1880). Baltazar is the name traditionally assigned to one of the wise men (also known as the Magi or kings) who visited baby Jesus. Not sure if the author intentionally chose this name for his main character based on this meaning of the name or not. I just thought it was an interesting choice for a name.

I've already started digging into the second book The Berlin Package that features Pero Baltazar and Mbuno and I'm loving it. No surprise there. This time we are in Europe. If Riva uses his signature writing skills then I'm in for another fantastic read. Watch out for my review on May 17.

I highly recommend this thriller series.

To read more reviews, please visit Peter Riva's page on iRead Book Tours.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher for sending me this book for review. I was not told how to rate or review this product.

Buy the book:

  Amazon 



Meet the Author:


Peter Riva has spent many months over 30 years travelling throughout Africa and Europe. Much of this time was spent with the legendary guides for East African hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series in 1995 called Wild Things for Paramount. Passing on the fables, true tales, and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is his passion. Nonetheless, his job for over forty years has been working as a literary agent. In his spare time, Riva writes science fiction and African adventure books. He lives in Gila, New Mexico. 

Connect with the author: Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook


Enter the Giveaway!

Win 1 of 5 sets of print copies of Murder on Safari and The Berlin Package and
1 of 2 $25 Amazon gift cards (open internationally)



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? May 9 Edition





Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

My 15-year-old daughter had the opportunity through her school outing to hear a holocaust survivor speak of his memoirs. She came home with a free copy of his book and recounted to me at length about meeting this 92 year-old man who spoke to the group of students. She was touched by the experience and we both look forward to reading Mr. Vertes memoir:


Alone in the Storm by Leslie Vertes

In wartime Budapest, Leslie Vertes escapes from the forced labour service. As he lives under false identity documents, each day he survives feels like a miracle. Yet when liberation day arrives, he barely has time to revel in his freedom before the new Soviet regime whisks him back into captivity. After two back-breaking years of labour, Leslie is released, but when his life is threatened again during the 1956 Hungarian uprising, Leslie realizes that he will not feel truly free until he leaves the country.







I had the chance to spotlight this book last month and now I've received a personal copy. I look forward to reading it!


The Winemakers by Jan Moran

1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she's never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret -- a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for.

Many years before, her mother's hard-won dreams of staking her family's claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; but as an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragic secret that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother's buried past.

From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.



This series is on tour with iRead Book Tours staring next month:


The Regina Shen series by Lance Erlick


Regina Shen is an outcast forced to fend for herself in a world that bans books and artifacts from before the Great Collapse. An approaching storm could be the least of her problems. The World Federation condemns Regina and her family to live on the seaward side of barrier walls. Those walls were built to hold back rising seas caused by abrupt climate change and as a place to dump outcasts.

A hurricane threatens to destroy Regina’s world, tearing her from sister, mom, and home. Now Federation agents claim she has unique DNA that could prevent human extinction. It's too bad she doesn't trust them enough to barter fairly, let alone with her life. Three-hundred-plus-year-old Grand Old Dames rule the all-female Federation using a rigid caste system. Their notorious Department of Antiquities, under the command of Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco, polices barrier walls, destroys knowledge from the past to suppress dissent, and pursues Regina for her genome.

Regina survives by her wits on swampy islands and thrives on salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books from before the Federation. With her photographic (eidetic) memory, she defies Antiquities by consuming salvaged books not available in the Federation, which makes her an outcast even among her exiled peers. With Antiquities in pursuit, Regina fights to stay alive and avoid capture while hunting for her family. Does she have the resilience to survive both the storm and Antiquities?










It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Shackled Inheritance by Madeleine McDonald



Fate throws the slave owner and the abolitionist together on an island gripped by rumours of a slave revolt. When Euan meets Abigail's family, will her alluring sister steal him from her?

A Shackled Inheritance by Madeleine McDonald
ISBN: 9781509206155
Published: March 11, 2016
Published by:  The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Trade paperback: 253 pages
Content rating: G


Book Description

Spinster Abigail Carrick faces a frugal existence – until her father's will reveals she has two unknown half-sisters. Free women of colour, they will share her inheritance of a sugar plantation in the Caribbean. Against all advice, Abigail crosses the ocean to meet them. Fellow passenger Euan Sinclair offers her welcome encouragement. As their friendship deepens, the young lawyer is torn between attraction to Abigail and his loathing of slavery. His principles also clash with his duty, for his legal mission is delicate and he dare not fail. Fate throws the slave owner and the abolitionist together on an island gripped by rumours of a slave revolt. When Euan meets Abigail's family, will her alluring sister Desiree steal him from her?


My Review
Reviewed by Sandra Olshaski

Glasgow, Scotland, 1810-11. Abigail is a 20-something smart, beautiful, raven-haired beauty. Upon the death of her respected, church-going father, she learns that he has another family in the West Indies – two grown daughters – free women of colour - there are so many questions to be answered!

Euan Sinclair is the young, idealistic lawyer who breaks the news to her and is her travelling companion as Abigail eagerly embarks on a sea voyage to meet her new family on Buenaventura Island, somewhere near Jamaica. Despite their growing friendship during the long trip, Abigail and Euan are soon at loggerheads. Abigail is 1/3 owner of a slave plantation, while Euan is an avowed abolitionist. How can he possibly have tender feelings for her? They finally arrive at their destination, where both come face to face with the ugly face of slavery. "Everything conspired to remind Abigail she was different. Everywhere she went, there were slaves. It did not matter if their skins were ebony, mahogany or caramel, she sensed their hostile, resentful gaze."   And it doesn’t help that Euan, who Abigail is now in love with, is strongly attracted to her half-sister, sultry Desiree, a slave owner with a condescending attitude toward "the niggers" as she calls them.

Euan disgustedly observes, "you grow hatred here, as much as sugar," so no  wonder that a slave uprising is simmering. As events escalate Euan, Abigail and others flee the island.

This is a very well-written novel, with a steady pace that intensifies to a climax. Slavery isn’t just a backdrop to this story,  but a very real presence with its cruelties and horrible injustices.  Abigail herself tries to adjust to her role of slave owner, taking responsibility for people on the plantation she has inherited.

The character development is excellent.  They are so well drawn that the reader is somehow sympathetic to their diverse viewpoints.

I was happy to learn that this novel was inspired by the true story of a will written 200 years ago. A good read for historical romance fans.

Sandra Olshaski's disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


About the Author:


Madeleine McDonald writes newspaper columns on family life, short stories for radio, creative non-fiction pieces for anthologies and romance novels. You can connect with her at:

http://madeleinemcdonald.blogspot.com




 
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