Tuesday, April 28, 2015

DESTINED FOR DEATH - A Book Review and Giveaway

Destined For Death
Seventeen-year-old Nadia Petrov’s world is shaken when the Human Preservation Agency robs her of the chance to live a normal life with the boy of her dreams.
Nadia finds herself in a devastating situation; she must hide her nightmare inflicting side as a means of survival—the discovery of her ability being a death sentence. The only thing keeping Nadia from succumbing to her unbearable circumstances is that Hunter Sullivan, the boy she’s madly in love with, feigns loyalty to the HPA to protect her.
I have followed this delightful YA story from its inception when Nadia, the Nightmare Inflictor, first stumbled across Hunter, the innocent human soul, stranded in the mind of a mind of a Sin Eater.  She had consumed his soul in a deal with the Human Preservation Agency, thinking she was ridding the world of one more really bad guy, only to be sadly misled.
After an initial surprise of finding a real living entity within the nightmare that she was inflicting, Nadia became intrigued with the young man and continued to slip back into the dreams of the Sin Eater, Jacqueline.  Through the series, we have seen Jacqueline killed and jump bodies, Hunter released from his mind prison and returned to his body which has been in a coma, and various members of the creature kingdom killed by HPA as they search for a way to free themselves from the grips of Hunter’s mother and her HPA group who are out to destroy the creatures that they have determined to be dangerous monsters against humankind.
Through all this, the love between Nadia and Hunter has continued to blossom and grow despite constant discouragement from friends and fear of family discovery at every turn.  The Montagues and the Caprios have nothing this love story.  In many ways I see touches of Romeo and Juliet dusting throughout the series.
Ginna has grown as an author during her time writing this series.  From the early struggles of moving from viewpoint to viewpoint, with all voices being spoken in the first person, it was easy to get lost in where you were in the story.  By the time we got to DESTINED FOR DEATH, her maturity as a writer was showing.  Her characters had been well developed.  You knew who each person was, where their loyalty was, and wanted to scream at the book on occasion for that character to not trust the one they were talking to, because you knew better.  The storyline was solid, fast paced, and would leave you breathless as you tried to read fast enough to keep up with the characters as they sped past you on the page.
Ginna’s world building skills have also grown over time.  Even though the setting is in today’s world, there are certain aspects of the story that needed to be built around the creature world and she did a fabulous job of creating the imagery needed to set us on edge where needed, especially in the nightmare world of Jacqueline in the dream sequences.
I loved this final chapter to the love story of Hunter and Nadia.  It brought closure to the wild ride that I had been on for the past few months.  I hope to see more of this series about other characters, but was glad to finally quit holding my breath for Nadia and Hunter.  Great Job, Ginna!!!!  You knocked this one out of the park!  FIVE STAR review for YA fantasy fiction.
Ginna, I feel like we have really got to know each other over the last months as I have read your novels and we have visited about each of them.  It is almost sad to see this story of Hunter and Nadia come to a close.  Why don’t we take some time to talk a little more about your other projects and have you tell us a little about your life?
Now that you have resolved the story of Hunter and Nadia, where do you plan on taking this cast of characters?
While Hunter and Nadia’s story is finished, the world they live in is still in turmoil, a war raging between the Creature Council and the Human Preservation Agency. In my next series, a companion series to Destined for Dreams, I revisit the world with new main characters and a new location. While the series has love woven into it, it focuses more on self-discovery, friendship, and surviving in a strange world neither of the main characters new existed. Characters from Destined for Dreams do make an appearance throughout the series, and it’ll be a great way to almost catch up with old friends while meeting new ones.
After writing this series of books, have you developed a particular character that you have personally just fallen in love with?  How about one that just wants to make you scrape your nails across the chalkboard when it is time to write about them again?
Besides Hunter and Nadia, my favorite character is Jacqueline Matthews. Her character has grown so much over the series, I just love writing about her. Who knows, maybe she’ll get her own series one day.
There aren’t really any characters I hate writing. I love even writing my antagonists. If I find I dislike writing a character, I edit them out.
Do you have other projects in the works that have you going other directions?
I’m constantly plotting new books, and I plan to stay in the same world for at least six more novels, but I also have a standalone YA Contemporary novel I’m in the process of editing. I’d like to write a few more after as well.
Other than writing, which by the way I love your stories.  What other things do you do in the literary world?  Which do you seem to find the most enjoyment doing?
Besides writing, I do design work—from novel covers to bookmarks and ads. I enjoy creating things people love, and I find it satisfying to create things visually.
I know that there has been great tragedy in your personal life recently.  But I know that there have been a few blessings that were recovered from that maelstrom.  What was the most precious item that you found?
Honestly, every item I recovered from the fire was precious, even things as little as a spatula had me counting my blessings. But I’d say the most precious thing I recovered were my daughter’s hospital foot prints and family pictures that weren’t transferred into the digital age. I also found my writing journals from when I was a teen. I never knew what was really important to me until I lost almost everything.
Have you found new sources for creative ideas since moving to a new locale?  What one thing do you find the most different between Texas and California? What one thing do you find the most charming about your new locale?  What do you wish was more like “home”?
Moving from a heavily populated city area to a more rural small town has definitely been an adjustment. I find that nature inspires my creative ideas—the rivers, the wildflowers, the lush greenery—everything is beautiful.
Besides the people and the local restaurants/shopping, and hopefully this doesn’t sound too creepy, but the cemeteries around here are quite charming.  They possess something different about them. They’re smaller, more personal—peaceful. I can definitely imagine a paranormal story being based here.
What I miss about California is the ocean. When you read my novels, a lot of my dream worlds take place near the ocean. And in my next series, the characters are from a beach city. I lived a few miles from the beach, and there’s just something about the ocean I find so peaceful. I miss the marine layer that rolled in almost nightly—the cool humidity of it, and of course the scent. The one thing I wish were most like home would be the having things closer. I don’t like driving 40 minutes away to get to a mall or Costco. I miss being able to go anywhere I wanted with minimal or no drive time.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to share with us and for giving us insight into your characters and into the paranormal world that they live in.  I look forward to future stories of this group of “creatures” and their special abilities and how they survive amongst us. 

Ginna Moran started writing poetry as a teenager in a spiral notebook that she still has tucked away on her desk today. Her love of writing grew after she graduated high school and she completed her first unpublished manuscript at age eighteen.
When she realized her love of writing was her life’s passion, she studied literature at Mira Costa College in Northern San Diego. Besides writing young adult novels, she was senior editor, content manager, and image coordinator for Crescent House Publishing Inc. for four years.
Aside from Ginna’s professional life, she enjoys binge watching television shows, playing pretend with her daughter, and cuddling with her dogs. Some of her favorite things include chocolate, anything that glitters, cheesy jokes, and organizing her bookshelf.
Ginna is currently hard at work on her next novel.

TRAVELS WITH PENNY - Book Tour and Giveaway

Travels with Penny Large Banner
Travels CoverTitle: Travels with Penny
David Alan Morrison
Publication Date:
April 2015
Publisher: Booktrope
Two things flashed through my mind when I opened the door to the sex shop to find my mother standing in front of the display case talking to a tall salesman wearing a leather harness, jock strap and a dog collar. The first was, "Oh, crap." The second was, "I hate when Dad's right."
Following the sudden death of his father, a single, middle-aged gay guy struggles with his own mortality be reminiscing about the travels with his gregarious mother. It is a look at the transformation of the baffling, complex relationship between children and their parents.
Author Bio:
Dave Morrison (CI & CT, NIC-A, SC:L, NAD-5). Dave received his A.A. in ASL/ENG Interpreting from L.A. Pierce College in 1989. In 2000, he obtained his M.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Kentucky. He has interpreted in a variety of venues, from the courtroom to funerals to underwater conservation forums. As an actor, he has been seen on stage, TV and film. He is currently an adjunct instructor of Drama at Skagit Valley College and works with local theatres as a director, actor and instructor.
Author Links:
This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.
Baited E-Book Cover
Guild of Immortal Women Large Banner

Monday, April 27, 2015

WILD WOOD - Blog and Book Review

wild wood
For fans of Diana Galbaldon’s Outlander series comes a gripping and passionate new historical novel. Intrigue, ancient secrets, fairy tales, and the glorious scenery of the Scottish borders drive the story of a woman who must find out who she really is.

Jesse Marley calls herself a realist; she’s all about the here and now. But in the month before Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981 all her certainties are blown aside by events she cannot control. First she finds out she’s adopted. Then she’s run down by a motor bike. In a London hospital, unable to speak, she must use her left hand to write. But Jesse’s right-handed. And as if her fingers have a will of their own, she begins to draw places she’s never been, people from another time—a castle, a man in armor. And a woman’s face.

Rory Brandon, Jesse’s neurologist, is intrigued. Maybe his patient’s head trauma has brought out latent abilities. But wait. He knows the castle. He’s been there.

So begins an extraordinary journey across borders and beyond time, a chase that takes Jesse to Hundredfield, a Scottish stronghold built a thousand years ago by a brutal Norman warlord. What’s more, Jesse Marley holds the key to the castle’s secret and its sacred history. And Hundredfield, with its grim Keep, will help Jesse find her true lineage. But what does the legend of the Lady of the Forest have to do with her? That’s the question at the heart of Wild Wood. There are no accidents. There is only fate. 
I love historical fiction.  I can get lost in the pages of a well written book and I found myself lost in just such a book when I opened the pages to WILD WOOD, by Posie Graeme-Evans.  This gem is a historical fiction with an overlay of not time travel, but not really fantasy either.  It is a mix of folklore, historical fiction and an interesting current time mystery with just a touch of a love story to keep the love forlorn interested and turning the pages wondering who is going to get the cute young doctor.
The old country in the north of England and in the south of Scotland is riddled with ancient sites.  There are many moldery castles hanging on, despite the fact that they should have long since collapsed in a heap of rubble.  Posie took this magical setting to use as a backdrop as she began to weave a story of an adopted young lady, Jesse, looking for her birth parents, a young and brilliant psychiatrist, Rory, who takes her under wing after an unfortunate accident leaves her with a head injury and a lot of unanswered questions.  He whisks her off to one of these moldery castles up near the Scottish border.  After they arrive, her dreams of the past intensify, about the very castle that they are staying in and she discovers that she has already met the owner of the castle, Alicia just before she landed in the hospital in London.  The oddities just continue and grow more complex with the unwinding of the story.  
The mystery of the story that Jesse continues to reveal through the dream sequences of the Hundrefield during the 1400s is a wonderful historical fiction story, unto itself.  It is well written, the characters multi-dimensional, and you can live, breath and smell the very essence of what it would be to live in Hundredfield with the Donnes during that time period.
It is the very magic and essence of the Ancient Ones, especially the ”Lady of the Forrest”, that binds the two stories across the centuries, as she draws Jesse, Rory, and Alicia (the owner of the castle) into a more and more complex mystery in the present, even as the story progresses and becomes more poignant in the past.  Each of the storylines stands well alone, as a wonderful mystery and love story. 
WILD WOOD is the masterful weaving of the two stories together, and the surprising, but logical conclusion of this book makes this complex novel a worthy read. Though at times not an easy read and at times it seems to bog down.  History is not all excitement either.  It is the hunger for the “answers” that kept me moving forward, for I knew that even these few sections would offer logical reason on retrospect at the end.
Posie paid attention to detail in the development of her story, for each detail had a purpose and came back to answer an unsolved question later in the story.  The face Jesse kept drawing, places in the castle Jesse knew about or could draw in detail that were pictures in old books in the castle library, these are small examples.  There were little details like a white lock of hair in a character’s otherwise black locks.  All of these small details were clues, they all had reasons.   Small though they seemed, each was of some significance in the plot and storyline. Following those types of details and trails through a novel makes for exquisite reading.  In this case it came to a true love affair with the story and characters between the pages.
WILD WOOD by Posie Graeme-Evans is literary work of potential significance in this reviewer’s opinion.  With a FIVE STAR rating, I hope that she gains the attention of the reading public.  I highly recommend her work for the serious historical fiction, historical mystery, historical folk lore, adult literary fiction, and historical romance readers.  The book is not a light read, but is worth the relaxing diligent read of someone ready to enjoy a well written literary work. 
Posie Graeme-Evans is the internationally bestselling author of five novels, including The Island House and The Dressmaker. She has worked in Australian film and television for the last thirty years as a director, commissioning executive and creator/producer of hundreds of hours of drama and children’s series, including the worldwide smash hit McLeod’s Daughters and Daytime Emmy nominated Hi-5. She lives in Tasmania with her husband and creative partner, Andrew Blaxland. Visit her website at PosieGraemeEvans.com.
Visit her website at PosieGraemeEvans.com.
You can purchase WILD WOOD at Amazon.com 

Friday, April 24, 2015

THE CORE - A Book Review

There’s something strange about David, something that goes beyond the way he makes Ellie feel. He’s wealthy, poised, and a complete enigma. With nothing to lose but her heart, Ellie goes in search of the truth—a search that leads her down an eye-opening path that reveals secrets about the world she thought she knew.

The world’s order is held in careful balance, the essence of good and evil tilting the scale. When the fabric of reality is stripped away, Ellie is forced to make a decision to follow the path David’s constructed before her or simply walk away. The Core is missing and someone must step up and stand between the light and darkness, holding each back and maintaining equilibrium. 

THE CORE is an interesting book that found its way to my desk this last week.  The premise was such that it demanded that I jump places, and I pulled it from its rightful place in my TBR pile and crawled beneath my comfy snuggle with a “cuppa” and settled down to read.  Though the first in a Serial, it held promise to keep my brain ticking about the plot and characters as the opening pages immediately dove me into intrigue and romantic longing.  
Having taken the time to get to know the author a little, I knew that there would be more to the story than romance and intrigue.  I was not disappointed!  Initially, Kate Thomas introduced the reader to a three main characters.  Two of the main characters were twins, a brother (Jacob)  and a sister (Ellie), who also happened to be the CPA for the third main character, who was her good-looking, single, thirty-something, boss (David).  The only problem was Ellie could have sworn she saw her boss washing immense amounts of blood from his body at the office a few nights before and so with her brother’s help, was determined to discover what it was that her boss did to earn money for his clients and himself. 
Before they can uncover the income sources, David whisks Ellie off from New York City to Los Angeles for a business trip where he promises to answer questions and offer her a partnership.  Huh?  The mystery deepens before the book gets going, and this reader was sucked in.  No sleep coming till I had answers.
The storyline was not limited to romantic tension, which there was plenty of between the leading characters.  There was no shortage of mystery, as new characters were introduced and the questions continued to pile up instead of being answered.  Then worlds began to tilt on end and a taste of the paranormal started slithering its way between the lines and tingling down my spine as it became obvious that not all was as it seemed. 
Ellie was spooked.  Had she been pulled into something “wicked this way comes”?  Or could she depend on the realm of the norm, David finally start to open up.  The discoveries that Ellie makes about David, his friends, their clients, and finally about herself is at first mind-boggling, and then mind-altering.  Only time and more answers will help Ellie come to the decisions she needs to make. 
I am thankful that there are more novels in this series, as I, too have many more questions for David and his team of friends in the coming tales that they have to share.
As an analytical reader, I loved this book for the sub-story and potential for allegories that I read beneath the wonderful storyline that Kate Thomas wrote for our enjoyment.  Though not discussed here, they would be wonderful topics in group reads and discussions. 
I would recommend this book, and potentially this series for YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Romance.  This book received a good FIVE STAR rating for the depth of character development and multi-level plot that leads to much discussion.


Kate Thomas, is the author of the upcoming Equilibrium Series, a five-book supernatural new adult series, with plans for a few more series in 2015. 

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can't help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn't seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.

Sign up for my newsletter? http://eepurl.com/bbT9M1

Thursday, April 23, 2015

GUILD OF IMMORTAL WOMEN - Blog Tour and Giveaway

Title: Guild of Immortal Women
Author: David Alan Morrison
Publication Date: November 2014

Two bodies are discovered on the grounds of “The Bastille,” home to a coven of witches who belong to the Guild of Immortal Women. The bodies have strange characteristics, so what follows is a combination merry and sinister romp through ancient history. Medieval times are brought to life through a massive Tapestry adorning the mansion’s walls where the characters — animals and humans — emerge through tears in the fabric. It is up to Detective Matt Mathers and social worker Lynn Swanson to solve the murder-mystery while dealing with the strange world of magic, Guardian Abbey’s amnesia from her past lives, and the devilish mission of Robert and the Doctor to create an immortal heir through the laboratory.

Foreword Reviews‘ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist

                                                                   Goodreads | Amazon | Author's Website

DAMheadshot.jpeg Author Bio:

Dave Morrison (CI & CT, NIC-A, SC:L, NAD-5). Dave received his A.A. in ASL/ENG Interpreting from L.A. Pierce College in 1989. In 2000, he obtained his M.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Kentucky. He has interpreted in a variety of venues, from the courtroom to funerals to underwater conservation forums. As an actor, he has been seen on stage, TV and film. He is currently an adjunct instructor of Drama at Skagit Valley College and works with local theatres as a director, actor and instructor.
Author Links:


This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


SAOB Cover
Lisa Verge Higgins
A new novel of women's friendship from the author of Random Acts of Kindness that will appeal to fans of Kristin Hannah, Luanne Rice, and Karen White.
Tess has a secret. For fifteen years she has been furtively following  the life of the daughter she gave up as an infant for adoption.  But  when Sadie runs away from home determined to find her birth mother, Tess  has no choice but to hunt down the desperate girl in the one place she
dreads--Pine Lake, where a terrible, buried secret threatens to destroy  them both.
I spent this last month in the company of a group of good friends and Lisa Higgins at Goodreads.  Deb Haupt hosted a month long read for Senseless Acts of Beauty on the General Fiction Forum Expats Group.  As always, the group was a rollicking discussion across the airwaves and between Continents as we worked our way through the book with Lisa and Deb.
Lisa has become known for her Women’s Fiction and novels that address issues that strike the very core of women’s hearts and the essence of who we are.  She seems to be able to crawl into our psyche and address the very issues we are most afraid to address.  She brings them to life with her special magic and a modicum of levity and heart, then she nails us between the eyes with the reality of life.
With Senseless Acts of Beauty, Lisa took the bare bones of our human need to be accepted and loved.  She addressed our basic need to have a safe place to call home and nailed the story to the barn wall. She has captured the very essence of the fear, the anxiety, the confusion, the sadness, the loneliness, and most of all the "lostness" of kids that just don't feel like they truly belong.
There are the lucky ones that are truly loved at home.  But then there are those like Tess, where home was just a Wrecking Derby. “Love” was a “longed for dream” that she really did not know what it really was, and if and when someone showed her a basic kindness, she ran for the hills. She did not know how to receive or reciprocate those emotions of tender feelings -- they were truly foreign. The one time in her life that she actually found and felt those feelings was with Riley's grandparents.
I love the way Lisa uses words and finds symbolism in imagery within her stories. It broadens the visual experience of her novels.  So many times when words will fail to get an emotion across, simple visual imagery will send us across vast wonders of beauty or terror that will bring that emotion the writer is trying to describe pouring from our souls.  Lisa is a master at this and utilized it often in the pages of this book.  She was also capable of letting her "geek" escape, and sending this reader on a trip to google to discover some new source that I had forgotten about or had yet to know.  (I love it when the “geek” escapes and we all learn something new.
In the end, once again, Lisa led us all to the discovery of the power of love, and that love can conquer all.  I think that is why I find her stories so habit forming and why I keep watching for them next new book at the bookstore.  
LVHigginsPubPicAbout the Author
Lisa Verge Higgins is the RITA-nominated author of seventeen novels that have been published worldwide and translated into as many languages--quite a switch for this former PhD candidate in chemistry. A mother of three, this five-time RT Book Awards finalist has won the Golden Leaf, The Bean Pot, and twice has been anointed by Barnes & Noble's General Fiction Forum for their top twenty novels-of-the-year. Her stories about women’s lives and women’s friendships have been described by critics as “joyous,” “uplifting,” “full of humor, love and life lessons,” and “inspire us to focus on what’s really important in our lives.” When not writing stories, Lisa is reading them as a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three teenage daughters, who never fail to make life interesting. 
Lisa and her books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other Indie bookstores online.


This is a repost of a previous book review that 
received the
April 20, 2015

Anthony Doerr

Praise for All the Light We Cannot See

 “A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed. . . . Doerr masterfully and knowledgeably recreates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers.”
Booklist (starred)

 “Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.” —Kirkus (starred)

 “If a book’s success can be measured by its ability to move readers and the number of memorable characters it has, Story Prize-winner Doerr’s novel triumphs on both counts. Along the way, he convinces readers that new stories can still be told about this well-trod period, and that war—despite its desperation, cruelty, and harrowing moral choices—cannot negate the pleasures of the world.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

 “This novel has the physical and emotional heft of a masterpiece. . . . Highly recommended for fans of Michael Ondaatje’s similarly haunting The English Patient.”
Library Journal (starred)

From Anthony Doerr, among America’s most highly-decorated short story writers—four O. Henry Prizes, three Pushcart Prizes, and the Story Prize, among others—a masterful novel ten years in the making about World War II, blindness, children, a mythical diamond, the power of radio, Hitler Youth and the Resistance, and the ways, against all odds, we try to be good to one another. With conspicuous pride, Scribner will publish ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE on May 6, 2014.

Set during World War II, ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE interweaves the lives of a young, blind French girl, Marie-Laure, and an orphaned German boy, Werner, whose paths collide as they try to survive the physical and emotional destruction of the war. When the book opens, Marie-Laure lives with her father, the lockmaster at the Museum of Natural History, in an apartment in Paris. When she becomes blind he creates a miniature model of the neighborhood, so that she can learn every house, every street corner, first with her fingers and then with her feet. As the German occupation begins, they flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast—carrying with them what might be the museum’s most fabled and valuable diamond—and live with Marie-Laure’s great-uncle in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In Germany, another world, Werner grows up an orphan with his beloved sister Jutta. A fascination with radios turns into a mastery of building and fixing the instruments, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and heinously brutal military academy for Hitler Youth, and then a special assignment to track the Resistance through their radios. Werner travels through the heart of Nazi Germany, to Russia, and finally to France, where his story converges with Marie-Laure’s.

Throughout the novel Doerr returns to the themes of light and time, nature and war, the courage and frailties of the human heart, to brilliant effect. Like Pat Barker’s Regeneration or Michael Ondaatje’s The English PatientALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE is a sweeping, stunningly ambitious and lushly-written novel that will catapult its author’s name onto the short-lists of America’s greatest novelists. 

When I sat down to write about All the Light We Cannot Not See I struggled with how I wanted to approach a novel that was filled with so many complex themes and storylines.  There were the obvious storylines of the children and how they survived the war:  the German brother and sister and the blind French girl.  Then there was the story of the Light of the World Diamond and the French museum that worked to outwit the Germans and keep them from stealing it, along with the German Sgt. Major who was determined to find it.  Finally there was the story of the short-wave radios and their role before and during the war in Germany and France. 
Each one of these stories could have been spun into a novel of great worth.  But Mr. Doerr took the three themes and interwove them and spun them around till they all became one beautiful cohesive story that mesmerized the reader with its’ power. 
For each of the characters, the Light was a different source and had a different meaning.  I found that for Werner, the young German youth, the Light was in knowledge. But with time the Light became his soul and his humanity as he saw the adults and authority figures around him working to strip that very thing away.  For Werner’s sister, Jutta, the radio was a symbol of her Light.  It was her symbol of being able to touch hope and know that there was more to life than the dark world they lived in.
Marie-Laure, the young French girl, lost her visual Light source as a young child, but her father was determined to give her the joy of sight back through touch, with his talent with wood.  He worked for years creating a miniature model of the neighborhood where they lived in Paris and then again in Saint-Malo.  Her life and world was limited by what she could read, and touch, plus what she could hear.
The Light of the World introduced a wonderful sub-plot and connecting storyline that created a counterpoint of intrigue to the darkness of despair that the war pressed upon the families.  It was with pure genius that Mr. Doerr brought all the scattered pieces together and created a beautiful symphonic piece that left me wishing for just one more chapter.  
The edges become blurred in the question of sides between good and evil.  There are good and evil people on both sides in a war and that is not what this novel is about.  It is about the bigger question of the humanity within each of us and whether we lose it in the winds of war.  I would that all ends well and all lived happily ever after, but war is war and life goes on.
I give this novel my highest recommendations.  It may be read for the story alone, but for those longing for a literary work with depth and complex issues and themes to work out without sacrificing the beauty of the innocence of the subjects of the story, you have found it between the pages of this novel. This is a true FIVE STAR work. 
Net Galley provided Shade Tree Book Reviews with a copy of All the Light We Cannot See to read for the purpose of writing a review for publication.

About the Author
ANTHONY DOERR is the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won numerous prizes both in the US and overseas, including four O. Henry Prizes, three Pushcart Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize.


BOISE, ID                             The Linen Building                                      Tuesday, May 6 / 7:30pm
SAN FRANCISCO, CA        Book Passage / Corte Madera                     Wednesday, May 7 / 7pm
SEATTLE, WA                     Elliott Bay Book Company                           Thursday, May 8 / 7pm
                                                Third Place Books                                         Friday, May 9 / 1pm
BELLINGHAM, WA           Village Books                                                 Friday, May 9 / 7pm
NEW YORK, NY                  Barnes & Noble / Upper West Side Monday, May 12 / 7pm
BROOKLYN, NY                 Greenlight Bookstore                                    Tuesday, May 13 / 7pm
BOSTON, MA                      Harvard Bookstore                                        Wednesday, May 14 / 7pm
FRAMINGHAM, MA           Barnes & Noble                                             Thursday, May 15 / 7pm
FAIRFIELD, CT                  Fairfield Public Library                                Friday, May 16 / 7pm
BOULDER, CO                    Boulder Bookstore                                         Wednesday, May 21 / 7:30pm
DENVER, CO                      Tattered Cover                                               Thursday, May 22 / 7:30pm
SALT LAKE CITY, UT        King’s English                                               Thursday, June 12 / 7pm
PORTLAND, OR                 Powell’s                                                          Thursday, July 17 / 7:30pm
MERIDIAN, ID                    Meridian County Library                              Wednesday, August 27/7pm
MOSCOW, ID                       BookPeople of Moscow                                 Thursday, September 18 / 7:30pm

For additional information or to schedule an interview with Anthony Doerr contact:
Kate Lloyd / 212-632-4951 / kate.lloyd@simonandschuster.com

Scribner ׀ on-sale May 6, 2014
544 pages ׀ $27 ׀ 978-1-4767-4658-6


Retro watercolor tulips
Come Winter  
by   Claire Gutierrez
A lowly maidservant. A disguised fugitive. A savior to the poor and endangered. A queen.
Such is the paradox of Lady Caterina Tabor, an extraordinary young girl who, en route to England, finds herself captured and at the mercy of a stern and powerful lord. Forced to work as a common kitchen maid in the dank halls of Dermoth Castle, Caty dreams of her past as a free and autonomous maiden with a bright future in the English courts—did fate have other plans?
This early trial is but the first in a litany of shocking tribulations; imprisoned, abused, accused of sorcery, and kidnapped, Caty’s life is for so long anything but charmed—but you can’t keep a soaring heart shackled. As we follow this misunderstood maiden's journey through both the unexpected, electrifying joys of new love and the pain of mind-boggling adversity, we become eyewitnesses to the astonishing way she not only transforms herself but enchants, inspires, and invigorates those around her.
Spanning decades of castle life, treacherous journeys, bloody battles, and heartache, Come Winter is a sweeping yet personal tale of a brave woman who at once embodies and transcends the prescribed and oftentimes oppressive roles her society demanded. Let Clare Gutierrez (author of Dancing with the Boss) curate your voyage back to the Scottish highlands of ages past—a time and place in which simply staying alive constituted a noble adventure, and becoming a patron of the oppressed and the impoverished could make you a hallowed queen.
Ever so often, and not nearly as often as my longing heart would desire, I stumble across a true diamond amongst the many crystals and gemstones that make their way to my desk.  When I read the synopsis for Come Winter, it sounded intriguing.
Once I opened the book and began to fall into the spell of the first lines of the story, I realized that this was going to be something more than just another historical novel.  Within pages I knew I had found a master of the written word.  The words seemed to have slid off her pen and onto the written page with a magic all their own.  They wove their own tapestry and came off the page in such imagery that my mind’s eye was a rolling screen throughout the story.
Clare Gutierrez demonstrated a great appreciation for the plight of noble women during the early midddle ages when they were but chattel of their lords and kings, to be traded and passed on as part and parcel of the holdings.  Though this subject has been demonstrated in many a novel, I have never seen it set as the central theme, nor presented so passionately through the eyes of a woman of noble birth as it was in Come Winter.
Katy, the heroine of the book, was a woman of strength, a lady of great passion and one who had the capability to love deeply.  She was a unique lady of her time, having received a well-rounded education, speaking several languages, reading and writing in the same, a healer, and a leader.  But because she was a woman, she was but an item to be owned, to be traded and bartered by parent, captor, until she finally obtained the highest position that a woman could obtain, Queen.  Even when she reach this vaulted position, she found she was still but a possession, a captive, and at the pleasure of her lord and master, the king.  She would never be free.
Clare took the time to develop her characters to give them the breath of life and to allow the reader to see what it was to live, through their eyes. We learned to feel their pain and despair as well as their joys and ecstasies.  The POV was not limited to that of Katy, but also that of the men who were a part of her adult life through the years.  It added an additional dimension to the characters, giving them well-rounded perspectives and allowing the narrative to provide a complete picture of the story as it moved ever forward through the years, first from France to Scotland, then to Spain and finally to Italy. A FIVE STAR read!!!! 
Each of the participants will highlight their favorite read this spring.  This is your chance to add to your stack of TBR books.  I am always looking for new authors and new books!!!!
logo for booktour-color-cream