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When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Welcoming David Fitz-Gerald and his book - She Sees Ghosts - to my blog

 

Today I'm welcoming David Fitz-Gerald and his book - She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

Delighted to share a review with you all but first I will introduce the book.

She Sees Ghosts

A blazing fire killed her family and devoured her home. A vengeful demon haunted her. Ghosts of the Revolutionary War needed help that only she could provide. A young woman languished, desperate to survive, and teetered on the edge of sanity.

Mehitable grew up in a freshly tamed town, carved from the primeval forest. Family, friends, and working at the mercantile filled her days and warmed her heart. For Mehitable, life was simple and safe, until tragedy struck. When her family perished in their burning home, she retreated into a world of her own making.

As a young girl, she had seen glimmers, glimpses, and flickers of the spirit world. She closed her eyes. She turned her back. She ignored the apparitions that she never spoke of, desperately hoping they would leave her in peace. She was mistaken.

Grief-stricken, Mehitable withdrew from the human world. Ghosts were everywhere. They became bolder. She could no longer turn her back on the spirit world. Her friends feared for her survival. Nobody understood her. She would have to find her own way.

Fans of TV’s Ghost Whisperer and Long Island Medium will especially love She Sees Ghosts. This historical novel features memorable characters and delivers bone-tingling, spine chilling goosebumps. It stands on its own and it is the next installment in the Adirondack Spirit Series by the award-winning author of Wanders Far―An Unlikely Hero’s Journey. David Fitz-Gerald delivers a historical novel with a bittersweet ending that you won’t see coming.

Would she save the spirits’ souls, or would they save her? Only time would tell.

Publication Date: October 25, 2020

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Page Length: 270 pages

Genre Historical/Supernatural

Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_PA9P2b3Q0&feature=youtu.be

You can buy the book via -

https://books2read.com/sheseesghosts

Now for the review -

Can you imagine navigating your way through a world where you can see the dead?

She Sees Ghosts—an intriguing title with an equally intriguing plot. I was utterly captivated as I followed Mehitable’s journey as she bravely attempts to deal with everything life throws at her. There are horrors that Mehitable must face, namely the loss of her entire family in one tragic accident, but surprisingly this is in no way a book full of heartbreak and pain. Yes, at times this book did make me cry, but I also found myself smiling as the plot developed.

Mehitable is an incredibly brave and a very strong woman, considering what life has thrown at her. Thankfully, she does not have to face this journey alone for she has some very loyal friends by her side. Polly and Reuben relationship is lovely, and their friendship with Mehitable was beautiful to behold. It was as if they were one big family, as if Mehitable was a sister to them both. The simplicity of their bond made me smile, as even the simplest things, such as baking pies, demonstrated their closeness, the everydayness of their lives, despite the supernatural element of the story.

The story was entrancing and I found it hard to step away from it, preferring instead to read just one more chapter! David Fitz-Gerald has penned a novel that I found incredibly captivating, entertaining and heart-wrenching, for which I applaud him.

David Fitz-Gerald

David Fitz-Gerald writes fiction that is grounded in history and soars with the spirits. Dave enjoys getting lost in the settings he imagines and spending time with the characters he creates. Writing historical fiction is like making paintings of the past. He loves to weave fact and fiction together, stirring in action, adventure, romance, and a heavy dose of the supernatural with the hope of transporting the reader to another time and place. He is an Adirondack 46-er, which means that he has hiked all of the highest peaks in New York State, so it should not be surprising when Dave attempts to glorify hikers as swashbuckling superheroes in his writing. She Sees Ghosts―A Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls is the next instalment in the Adirondack Spirit Series.

You can connect with the author via -

Website: https://www.itsoag.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorDAVIDFG

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDaveFITZGERALD

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authordavidfitzgerald/

You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour.

 

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.

 

 

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Welcoming Sherry A Burton and her book - Discovery: The orphan Train Saga book 1 - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Sherry A Burton and her book - Discovery: The Orphan Train Saga Book 1 - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I'm delighted to share an interview with the author with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

Discovery

While most use their summer breaks for pleasure, third grade teacher Cindy Moore is using her summer vacation to tie up some loose ends concerning her grandmother’s estate. When Cindy enters the storage unit that holds her grandmother’s belongings, she is merely looking for items she can sell to recoup some of the rental fees she’s spent paying for the unit.

Instead, what she finds are secrets her grandmother has taken to the grave with her. The more Cindy uncovers, the more she wants to know. Why was her grandmother abandoned by her own mother? Why hadn’t she told Cindy she’d lived in an orphanage? And how come her grandmother never mentioned she’d made history as one of the children who rode the Orphan Trains?

Join Cindy as she uncovers her grandmother’s hidden past and discovers the life that stole her grandmother’s love. 

Publication Date: December 25, 2018

Publisher: Dorry Press

Print Length: 229 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KK42KZ1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KK42KZ1

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/discovery-sherry-a-burton/1129921701

Now for the interview -

In the mid-1850s, over 30k children were living on the streets of New York City. Children as young as four and five had to lie, cheat, and steal just to survive. Some of the children were true orphans; others were not. Either way, their situation was dire, and something had to be done. So, between 1855 and 1929, over 250k children from New York and Boston were sent west on what was later referred to as 'the orphan trains' to find new homes.

When I first overheard a discussion regarding the Orphan Trains twenty years ago, I had never even published my first book, and yet I knew that I would someday write a story about an orphan train rider. At the time, I was dabbling with what would eventually be my first romance novel and assumed that romance would be the heart of the storyline. I jotted a few notes and moved on, writing and publishing mostly romance books.

Then, one day in 2017, while visiting a train museum in Green Bay Wisconsin, something wonderful happened. The voices showed up, filling my head with ideas and telling me that now was the time. I began researching everything I could find on the orphan trains. It took nearly eighteen years from the moment I first heard about the orphan trains until I moved forward with the project. A good thing as the single book idea morphed into a planned eighteen book historical fiction saga (not romance) that revolves around the orphan trains. Not only did the idea morph, but I also found myself as well. Since writing Discovery, the first in The Orphan Train Saga, I've also transitioned, preferring to write historical fiction over anything else. While regular fiction is easier, I find that I love the challenge that comes with writing historical fiction. I also enjoy incorporating history into each book, using mostly forgotten history to tell the child's story.

I introduce seventeen of the eighteen children in Discovery, book one of The Orphan Train Saga. Discovery tells Mileta's story, and each book after that will tell one of the other children's tale. The reader will follow each child from their earliest memory and find out what caused their homelessness. The reader will journey with the children on the train and follow their lives as they grow.

When I began writing The Orphan Train Saga, I thought I was writing for an adult audience. While each book starts with the person's first memory, the children grow up, and there are real-life situations. With that being said, the books are void of swearwords, and there is no overly graphic content. Since Discovery's release in December of 2018, I've received e-mails from children as young as nine, letting me know how much they are enjoying this saga and the history that surrounds it. So, now when I'm asked, I just say it's for ages 9 to 99+.

Lastly, while Discovery can be read and enjoyed on its own if you decide to keep reading -which I hope you do- you'll want to read the books in order. Some of the children's lives are so intertwined that a subsequent book will give you a greater understanding of something from a previous book when told from a different perspective.

Along with writing historical fiction, I also travel the country lecturing on The History of the Orphan Trains. The plight of those children continues to call to me. It is my mission to make sure they are not forgotten. Please help me to keep the children's memories alive by joining me on this journey.

Sherry A Burton

Born in Kentucky, Sherry got her start in writing by pledging to write a happy ending to a good friend who was going through some really tough times. The story surprised her by taking over and practically writing itself. What started off as a way to make her friend smile started her on a journey that would forever change her life. Sherry readily admits to hearing voices and is convinced that being married to her best friend for thirty-eight plus years goes a long way in helping her write happily-ever-afters. Sherry is the author of The Orphan Train Saga novels, a planned eighteen book historical fiction saga that revolves around the historic orphan trains. Books in the saga include Discovery, Shameless, Treachery and Guardian. Loyal, the fifth in the saga, expected to release summer of 2021. Sherry resides in Michigan and spends most of her time writing from her home office, traveling to book signing events and giving lectures on the Orphan Trains.

You can connect with Sherry A Burton via -  

Website: https://www.sherryaburton.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sherryaburton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SherryABurtonauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorsherryaburton

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/sherryaburton

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5233048.Sherry_A_Burton

You can learn more about the author and the book by visiting the other blogs on the tour -

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe


 

 

 

 

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Welcoming Clare Flynn and her book - A Painter in Penang - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Clare Flynn and her book - A Painter in Penang - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

 


I will share a review with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

A Painting in Penang

 

Sixteen-year-old Jasmine Barrington hates everything about living in Kenya and longs to return to the island of Penang in British colonial Malaya where she was born. Expulsion from her Nairobi convent school offers a welcome escape – the chance to stay with her parents’ friends, Mary and Reggie Hyde-Underwood on their Penang rubber estate.

But this is 1948 and communist insurgents are embarking on a reign of terror in what becomes the Malayan Emergency. Jasmine goes through testing experiences – confronting heartache, a shocking past secret and danger. Throughout it all, the one constant in her life is her passion for painting.

From the international best-selling and award-winning author of The Pearl of Penang, this is a dramatic coming of age story, set against the backdrop of a tropical paradise torn apart by civil war.

Publication Date: 6th October 2020

Publisher: Cranbrook Press

Page Length: 362 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

You can purchase the book via -

https://books2read.com/painterinpenang

Now for the review - 

Where do I even begin to describe how wonderfully poignant A Painter in Penang is? I was initially slightly nervous about jumping in at Book 3, but I need not have been concerned, for this novel stands very firmly on its own two feet.

This is the story of sixteen-year-old Jasmine Barrington who is desperately unhappy living in Kenya. She feels adrift, lost almost. So when she is given the opportunity to go back to Penang, she jumps at the chance. Unfortunately political events, shocking family secrets, and unsavoury suitors threaten everything. I really felt for Jasmine. She is this talented young woman, but she is also extremely innocent. This emotional rollercoaster that Jasmine finds herself on is beautifully portrayed and intensely gripping.

This is a novel that one can really lose themselves in—the author has a gift of making the hours seemingly fly by.  Painter in Penang is a novel that I enjoyed from beginning to end. I will certainly be going back and reading the first two books in this series.

Clare Flynn

Clare Flynn is the author of twelve historical novels and a collection of short stories. A former International Marketing Director and strategic management consultant, she is now a full-time writer.

Having lived and worked in London, Paris, Brussels, Milan and Sydney, home is now on the coast, in Sussex, England, where she can watch the sea from her windows. An avid traveller, her books are often set in exotic locations.

Clare is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of The Society of Authors, Novelists Inc (NINC), ALLi, the Historical Novel Society and the Romantic Novelists Association, where she serves on the committee as the Member Services Officer. When not writing, she loves to read, quilt, paint and play the piano. She continues to travel as widely and as far as possible all over the world.

You can connect with Clare Flynn via the following platforms -

Website: https://clareflynn.co.uk

Blog: https://clareflynn.co.uk/alternate-blog-style-page.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorclareflynn

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clarefly

Twitter: https://twitter.com/clarefly

 You can learn more about this book and the author by visiting the other blogs on the tour -

 

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe
 





 

 

 

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Welcoming Christopher D Stanley and his book - A Rooster for Asklepios - to my blog.

 Today I'm welcoming Christopher D Stanley and his book - A Rooster for Asklepios (A Slave's Story Trilogy Book 1) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde).

I am delighted to share a review with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

A Rooster for Asklepios

 
 

Marcus, a slave in the household of Lucius Coelius Felix, enjoys a better life than most slaves (and many free citizens) as the secretary and accountant of a wealthy aristocrat.  His master is rising in the civic life of the Roman colony of Antioch-near-Pisidia (central Turkey), and his responsibilities and income are growing as well. If this continues, he could soon earn enough to buy his freedom, set up a small business, and even marry.

Then misfortune strikes, and his master falls into a deep depression that is exacerbated by a nagging illness that his physician is unable to cure.  The future looks bleak until the physician receives a dream from the healing god Asklepios calling Lucius to travel hundreds of miles across western Asia Minor to his sanctuary at Pergamon for treatment and, he hopes, a cure.

Accompanied by Marcus and his new wife Selena, Lucius embarks on a long and eventful journey in which both master and slave encounter people and ideas that challenge long-held beliefs about themselves, their society, and the world around them.  Values are questioned, loyalties tested, and identities transformed in a story that brings to life a corner of the Roman empire that has been neglected by previous storytellers.

Publication Date:  May 23rd 2020

Publisher: Amelia Books

Page Length: 522 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rooster-Asklepios-Slaves-Story-Trilogy/dp/B08978G39W

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08978G39W

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Rooster-Asklepios-Slaves-Story-Trilogy/dp/B08978G39W

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Rooster-Asklepios-Slaves-Story-Trilogy/dp/B08978G39W

Now for the review -

I have become rather fascinated with Ancient History of late, so when I was offered the chance to read a review copy of A Rooster for Asklepios (A Slave’s Story Trilogy, Book 1) by a professor of social and religious history of the Greco-Roman world, I knew that this was a book that I just had to read. Christopher D. Stanley has presented his readers not only with a book that portrays the era, but it is a story that is based on actual historical sources. And what is really great about this novel is that Professor Stanley has presented his readers with a map, that you could, if you so wished, use to travel to the places named in the book - how cool is that?

The story is set in Asia Minor in the first century. I know next to nothing about what was happening in Asia Minor during this period of history, but that did not matter, for Professor Stanley is a competent tour guide, and not once did I find myself confused or befuddled as to what was going on, and the customs that were being observed.

The protagonist of this story is a slave of Lucius Coelius Felix. Marcus is a very loyal slave, and he is also very learned. He is both a secretary and accountant for his master - and despite being a slave, Lucius depends on him to help with the smooth running of his business. Marcus is in an extraordinary situation because although he is still a slave, he is treated with respect by his master and he is even used as a comparison when Lucius is trying to explain to his own son why it is so important to act with decorum at all times. He even goes as far as saying he would disinherit his son and make Marcus his heir if he did not get his act together - so to speak. I really felt for Marcus when his master announced this! Marcus is a character that I really came to care about. He was certainly a character that I enjoyed getting to know.

Lucius’ character not only gives this story drive - it is his illness that dictates the narrative, but he also demonstrated how fickle the Gods could be and how politically motivated many of these sacred sacrifices were and how they could, quite literally, bring ruin onto a household if they so chose to. The augurs really did hold a very powerful position in this society. Prayer, ritual, and sacrifice are clearly depicted as being a very important part of every day life, which I found fascinating.

The story itself is incredibly engaging and although this book is very long, it was at no times a chore. I really enjoyed picking up this book every day, and I never found myself losing any motivation to read it. The skilled narrative, the fascinating characters, and the history itself, makes this book a must read for those who love historical fiction. I thought this book was really rather brilliant.

I would also like to introduce you to book 2 in the trilogy -

A Bull for Pluto


After a lengthy and eventful stay at the sanctuary of Asklepios in Pergamon, the time has come for Lucius and Marcus to return to Antioch.  Selena had been sent home earlier when Lucius learned that she was pregnant, and the impending arrival of the winter snows could soon make it impossible for them to reach their destination before the child is born.

​To Marcus’s surprise, Lucius announces that he plans to stop for a while in Hierapolis to bask in the healing waters of the city’s renowned hot springs.  Here Marcus meets a young woman named Miriam who challenges him to embrace his long-hidden Jewish ancestry.  Marcus is torn between his budding love for Miriam and the cost of heeding her advice.

​A tragic decision by Lucius seals their fate, as their full attention must now be devoted to preserving Lucius’s life.  They reach Antioch in time to learn that Lucius’s son Gaius has failed miserably in his management of the household while his father was away.  If Lucius should die, Marcus, Selena, and her unborn child will be at the mercy of this tyrant.  To fend off this danger, Lucius must tell Marcus the full truth about his past, a truth that will ensure Marcus's future at the cost of his master's honor.  Can he bring himself to act before his inevitable end?

You can purchase a copy via -

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bull-Pluto-Slaves-Story-Trilogy/dp/1732698139

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732698139

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Bull-Pluto-Slaves-Story-Book/dp/1732698139

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Bull-Pluto-Slaves-Story-Book/dp/1732698139

Praise for A Rooster for Asklepios and A Bull For Pluto

This compelling and enjoyable story offers the reader a superb 'insider' view of life in the first-century Greco-Roman world. I enjoyed traipsing around Anatolia with Lucius and Marcus!"
-Dr. Terence Donaldson, Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament, Wycliffe College, Canada

"The realism of this story reflects the author's deep first-hand knowledge of the landscape and culture where the narrative takes place."
-Dr. Mark Wilson, Director, Asia Minor Research Center, Antalya, Turkey

"This well-researched book really brings the Roman world to life!"
-Dr. Alanna Nobbs, Professor of Ancient History, Macquarie University, Australia

"The amount of research, imagination, and effort involved in crafting this story earned my admiration, and stirred my curiosity, too."
Dr. Mark Nanos, Lecturer, University of Kansas, USA

Christopher D Stanley

CHRISTOPHER D. STANLEY is a professor at St. Bonaventure University who studies the social and religious history of the Greco-Roman world, with special attention to early Christianity and Judaism.  He has written or edited six books and dozens of professional articles on the subject and presents papers regularly at conferences around the world.  The trilogy A Slave’s Story, which grew out of his historical research on first-century Asia Minor, is his first work of fiction.  He is currently working on an academic book that explores healing practices in the Greco-Roman world, a subject that plays a vital role in this series

You can connect with the author via -

Website: https://www.aslavesstory.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aslavesstory

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aslavesstory

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aslavesstory

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/christopherdstanley

 You can find out more about the books and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour.


 That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe. 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 29 December 2020