Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


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   Winter, 1564. Beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France, where nothing is what it seems and a wrong word can lead to ruin. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Margot's intimidating mother, Queen Catherine de MÈdicis, is a powerful force in a country devastated by religious war. Among the crafty nobility of the royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her poisonous family. Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot accepts her role as a marriage pawn, even as she is charmed by the powerful, charismatic Duc de Guise. Though Margot's heart belongs to Guise, her hand will be offered to Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic looking to seal a tenuous truce. But the promised peace is a mirage: her mother's schemes are endless, and her brothers plot vengeance in the streets of Paris. When Margot's wedding devolves into the bloodshed of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, she will be forced to choose between her family and her soul. MÈdicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history.


Advance Praise

"This is Renaissance France meets Game of Thrones: dark, sumptuous historical fiction that coils religious strife, court intrigue, passionate love, family hatred, and betrayed innocence like a nest of poisonous snakes. Beautiful Princess Margot acts as our guide to the heart of her violent family, as she blossoms from naive court pawn to woman of conscience and renown. A highly recommended coming-of-age tale where the princess learns to slay her own dragons!" --Kate Quinn, Bestselling author of LADY OF THE ETERNAL CITY

 "The riveting story of a 16th century French princess caught in the throes of royal intrigue and religious war. From the arms of the charismatic Duke of Guise to the blood-soaked streets of Paris, Princess Marguerite runs a dangerous gauntlet, taking the reader with her. An absolutely gripping read!" --Michelle Moran, bestselling author of THE REBEL QUEEN

 "Rising above the chorus of historical drama is Perinot's epic tale of the fascinating, lascivious, ruthless House of Valois, as told through the eyes of the complicated and intelligent Princess Marguerite. Burdened by her unscrupulous family and desperate for meaningful relationships, Margot is forced to navigate her own path in sixteenth century France. Amid wars of nation and heart, MÈdicis Daughter brilliantly demonstrates how one unique woman beats staggering odds to find the strength and power that is her birthright." --Erika Robuck, bestselling author of HEMINGWAY'S GIRL

my thoughts:

Brilliant.  This is what I call a "WOW" book. 

  I've read several novels about the unscrupulous Valois family, most of which make Margot a lesser character.  This book centered on her and her various relationships with her difficult family members.   This is a well written historical fictional tale of French history.   Sophie Perinot has created a wonderful tale revolving around an incredibly dysfunctional family, led by Queen Mother Catherine de Medici, (aka la Serpente..yes THE SNAKE)   

 Unlike many historical fiction novels, this book doesn't read like a history book, but like a fantastic tale.  We have a front row seat to several sixteenth century events, including the St. Bartholemew's Day Massacre and the religious upheaval in France.  We glimpse life inside the French court during the reign of the Valois.

 Interesting story, but not a quick read, plan to spend a great deal of time reading this absorbing novel.  The time spent will not be wasted.  You will become enthralled as you read, I promise.  

 As a reader, and a lover of history, I was fascinated by this novel.
I give it 5/5 teacups. 
PS.  I have re-read this book not once but TWICE, it's that good!!!

About the Author

SP Small

SOPHIE PERINOT is the author of The Sister Queens and one of six contributing authors of A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii. A former attorney, Perinot is now a full-time writer. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia with her three children, three cats, one dog and one husband. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, Sophie has attended all of the group's North American Conferences and served as a panelist multiple times. Find her among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal or on Facebook.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 16 Review at The Mad Reviewer Review at Peeking Between the Pages Tuesday, November 17 Review at Just One More Chapter Wednesday, November 18 Review at The Maiden's Court Thursday, November 19 Review at The Eclectic Reader Friday, November 20 Review at The True Book Addict Monday, November 23 Review at Broken Teepee Guest Post at A Literary Vacation Tuesday, November 24 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Wednesday, November 25 Review at A Literary Vacation Friday, November 27 Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection Monday, November 30 Review at leeanna.me Tuesday, December 1 Review at To Read, Or Not to Read Wednesday, December 2 Review at Bibliophilia, Please Thursday, December 3 Review at The Book Binder's Daughter Friday, December 4 Guest Post at Bibliophilia, Please Monday, December 7 Review at Flashlight Commentary Tuesday, December 8 Interview at Flashlight Commentary Wednesday, December 9 Review at Curling Up By the Fire Thursday, December 10 Review at The Readers Hollow Friday, December 11 Review at Reading Lark Monday, December 14 Review at A Book Geek Tuesday, December 15 Review at The Lit Bitch Wednesday, December 16 Review at CelticLady's Reviews Friday, December 18 Review & Interview at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book Monday, December 21 Review at Bookish Tuesday, December 22 Spotlight at Passages to the Past Wednesday, December 23 Review & Guest Post at Historical Fiction Obsession Monday, December 28 Review at Unshelfish Tuesday, December 29 Interview at Unshelfish Thursday, December 31 Review at The Reading Queen

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Thursday, November 12, 2015


Paperback, 348 pages
Published June 15th 2014 by Createspace
ISBN 1499175884 (ISBN13: 9781499175882)
edition languageEnglish
seriesMatt Hawkins #1
characters:Matt Hawkins, Sarah Gordon, Buzz Penberthy, Hank Gordon, James Fox

about the book:

Savannah, Georgia antiques store owner Matt Hawkins discovers a two-hundred-year-old journal containing a stunning accusation. The journal claims that America's most revered hero, George Washington, wrote a secret surrender letter to the British during the Revolutionary War-a seditious act that would have ended America's fight for independence. Meanwhile, the present-day race for president of the United States is a dead heat. The Republican nominee, a direct descendant of Washington's family, has shamelessly exploited his ties to the Founding Father-a strategy that has worked brilliantly to eliminate a once wide gap in the polls. As the past collides with the present, Hawkins and lovely historian Sarah Gordon are determined to unearth the truth about the journal's remarkable claim. But they must avoid a shadowy adversary who has a billion dollars riding on the election's outcome-and who will stop at nothing to ensure that Washington's surrender letter remains a secret. Ted Richardson's debut novel can perhaps best be described as historical fiction wrapped inside a modern-day mystery. Richardson ingeniously blends actual historical events with innovative mystery to create a fast-moving, well-plotted tale of suspense. 

my thoughts
I just finished this book.  Imagine, George Washington surrendering to the British.  (It doesn't really happen, the letter of surrender is never sent...but just think, how different would our lives be if Britain won the war?)
Imagine the consequences to any of Washington's descendants if such a letter was ever discovered.

A fantastic, well written book.  
If you have any interest in history, revolutionary history, or American history, this book is for you!!!

Monday, October 26, 2015


Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: November 8th 2015 by Llewellyn Publications
ISBN 0738740896 (ISBN13: 9780738740898)

Brigid is worshiped worldwide as a source of inspiration, protection, and blessing. In Tending Brigid's Flame, Lunaea Weatherstone presents the beloved Celtic goddess as a true soul-friend for women today, exploring her legends and lore, attributes and allies, holidays, symbols, and sacred places. Filled with rituals, exercises, and meditations, Tending Brigid's Flame shows how to welcome Brigid into your home and make sacred all the activities of everyday life, from food magic to faery traditions, and from scrying to personal healing. Using the symbolism of fires that burn in hearth, temple, and forge, this breathtaking book sends you on a journey through the transformative power of one of the world's most revered goddesses.

With illuminating reflections and real-world inspiration from nineteen wisewoman devotees of Brigid

my thoughts:

I became interested in the Goddess Brigid after reading several celtic themed books with Brigid as a main character.   This fascinating book by Lunaea Weatherstone increased my knowledge of Brigid as well as Celtic legend.  The author seemed to have a unique connection with Brigid, and this connection was relayed throughout the book.

Brigid is a complex and multidimensional Celtic Goddess, and this book greatly enhanced my understanding of her.   On a personal level, I am still seeking a path and exploring all avenues.   I am drawn to the Celtic goddess and wish to learn even more.  I will look for more writings by Lunaea Weatherstone.

This is a well written, highly enjoyable book.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Thousand Nights

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
original titleA Thousand Nights
ISBN 1484722272 (ISBN13: 9781484722275)

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

my thoughts:

Most of us are familiar with the tale of 1001 nights, Scheherazade and her marriage to the king.  This is a different take on the tale.  More interesting than other retellings I've read.

 I found it enjoyable without being overwhelming. The main character, with the exception of LoMelkhiin, are all nameless individuals (annoying). In my head, I assigned each individual a name.

This book totally lacked any romance of any kind. Ok, I can live with that. I liked the way the main character offered herself as LoMelkiin's 301st wife, instead of her more beautiful, exciting sister. She then told a tale every night of how her sister was superior in every way and would never be a wife to LoMelkiin. (This is the nightly story which supposedly kept him interested).
There was a certain degree of magic between the two, this was also what kept her alive.

The ending (no spoilers) was a disappointment. 

On a good note, I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ESTHER by Rebecca Kanner

From the award-winning author of Sinners and the Sea comes a breathtaking new look into the timeless tale of Queen Esther.

A glittering Persian king has a vast empire that reaches farther than where the sun meets the horizon. He is bathed in riches and commands a frightening military force. He possesses power beyond any other mortal man and rules his kingdom as a god. Anything he desires, he has. Any woman he wants, he possesses. Thousands of them. Young virgins from all across his many lands.

A Jewish girl is ripped from her hut by the king’s brutish warriors and forced to march across blistering, scorched earth to the capitol city. Trapped for months in the splendid cage of the king’s palace, she must avoid the ire of the king’s concubines and eunuchs all while preparing for her one night with the king. Soon the fated night arrives, and she does everything in her power to captivate the king and become his queen.

But wearing the crown brings with it a new set of dangers. When a ruthless man plies the king’s ear with whispers of genocide, it is up to the young queen to prevent the extermination of the Jews. She must find the strength within to violate the king’s law, risk her life, and save her people.

This is a story of finding hidden depths of courage within one’s self. Of risking it all to stand up for what is right.

This is the story of Queen Esther. 

my thoughts:

Rebecca Kanner has the unique ability of bringing her characters to life.  Esther is one of the most incredible women of Biblical literature. Kanner has taken what we know, done research and created an incredible woman of strength, cunning and determination.  A woman who can only be described as a Queen.   

I love Ms. Kanner's writing style.  She brings these characters to life for us.  We are willing participants of the stories of the Bible.   Esther has always been one of my favorite women from the Bible.  

This is a wonderfully written, well researched book.  Kanner's descriptions and writing style will leave the reader breathless and wanting more.  This is a work of fiction, but I feel as if I actually know Esther the person. 

I highly recommend ESTHER, This is a fabulous book, well worth the time it takes to read.
5/5 stars