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!
Donna

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A GRAVE INHERITANCE

02_A Grave Inheritance_Cover

Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Carina Press
eBook; ASIN: B00OHV6MFA

Series: Goddess Born
Genre: Historical/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance

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Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beatsóand breaksóthe same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London's most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their wayóeven another goddess born.

But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?

With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid's fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strengthóor forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.

Buy the eBook

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

MY THOUGHTS:

Selah and Henry continue their story.  They are now in England, amid the discontented Princess Amelia (Henry's betrothed), most of London and King George...yes even the king is in on it.   

There are much darker forces at work.  An evil is keeping the two apart, this evil is after Selah...
We are introduced to many new characters throughout this book.  I loved most of them. 

Action, intrigue, adventure...this page turner has it all, as well as one incredible cliff hanger. Stay tuned for the third installment. 

If you enjoyed the first book, you will love this one..

About the Author03_Kari Edgren

Kari Edgren is the author of the Goddess Born series. In 2010 and 2011 she was a semifinalist for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award. In 2013, she was a RWA Golden Heart finalist. Ms. Edgren enjoys writing both historical and contemporary fiction, so long as thereís a spark of paranormal. She resides on a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest where she spends a great deal of time dreaming about the sun and torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts.

For more information please visit Kari Edgrenís website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign Up for Kari Edgrenís Newsletter.

A Grave Inheritance Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 2
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 4
Review at A Book Geek
Review at I'd So Rather Be Reading

Friday, December 5
Spotlight at The Reader's Hollow

Monday, December 9
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, December 11
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Monday, December 22
Review at The Mad Reviewer

Friday, December 26
Review at The Book Nerd

Monday, December 29
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, December 30
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews

Thursday, January 1
Review at Mel's Shelves

Friday, January 2
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, January 5
Review at Book Babe
Review at The True Book Addict

Friday, January 9
Review at Romantic Historical Reviews

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A GRAVE INHERITANCE RELEASE DAY!!!

02_A Grave Inheritance_Cover

Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Carina Press
eBook; ASIN: B00OHV6MFA

Series: Goddess Born
Genre: Historical/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance

Add to GR Button

Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beatsóand breaksóthe same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London's most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their wayóeven another goddess born.

But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?

With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid's fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strengthóor forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.

Buy the eBook

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

About the Author03_Kari Edgren

Kari Edgren is the author of the Goddess Born series. In 2010 and 2011 she was a semifinalist for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award. In 2013, she was a RWA Golden Heart finalist. Ms. Edgren enjoys writing both historical and contemporary fiction, so long as thereís a spark of paranormal. She resides on a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest where she spends a great deal of time dreaming about the sun and torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts.

For more information please visit Kari Edgrenís website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign Up for Kari Edgrenís Newsletter.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Heloise and Abelard

01_The Sharp Hook of Love
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Gallery Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 352

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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The first retelling of the passionate, twelfth-century love story since the discovery of 113 lost love letters between Heloise díArgenteuil and Pierre Abelardóthe original Romeo and Juliet.

"While I sleep you never leave me, and after I wake I see you, as soon as I open my eyes, even before the light of day itself." óAbelard to Heloise

Among the young women of twelfth-century Paris, Heloise díArgenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God.

But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Notre-Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.

Sherry Jones weaves the loversí own words into an evocative account of desire and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one of historyís greatest romances, and to loveís power to transform and endure.


my thoughts:
Heloise and Abelard. .

I've thought of them as the original Romeo and Juliet. Their story full of wonder and sadness. Well this is a sad story.

The starcrossed lovers who could not catch a break.

Heloise is a strong, forward thinking woman in a time when women were quiet and not well educated. Abelard was a philosopher who became her teacher. They committed the ultimate sin by falling in love. Love a sin? Apparently so.

I can't say I was very sympathetic to Abelard. I found him to be selfish and less than amazing, however, I don't believe he deserved his punishment for love.

Heloise, on the other hand, was an amazing character. She was strong, charming and an empathetic character. I cannot understand, nor agree with some of her decisions.

The actual writings of the two are threaded throughout the book. I must admit, the short pieces of their letters to each other have me yearning to learn more about this couple.


I enjoyed this book and encourage anyone interested in romance or history to read this well written book.


would you like an excerpt from the book?
I think excerpts are a perfect way to 'try out' the book before deciding to buy and read.
So, here goes....from THE SHARP HOOK OF LOVE.

His voice broke and quivered. “For one night with you, my love, I would give my life, which, without you, would be no life at all.”

His murmurs turned to whispers as he held me close, closer, kissing my ear, stroking my hair, my love, my lovely Heloise, words bubbling like a spring from his tongue. I, trembling against his chest, heard his heart’s beat and, playing like a song, his words more beautiful than any poem: my love my love my love.

The Sharp Hook of Love, page 79

But why would a man of his eminence sing in the place for me? My star might rise, but would never shine as brightly as his. A woman, I was only a pale moon in a world of suns, reflecting the light of men but emitting none of my own. What use had the sun for the moon? What use had Pierre Abelard for me?

The Sharp Hook of Love, page 17

When I lifted my gaze so shyly to his face, did he behold the
girl dancing inside me? Could he hear the music playing so
sweetly? At night, alone in the study of my uncle’s house, reading
the Porphyry assigned to me and writing my arguments, I would
hear that tune begin quietly, as if played by a distant piper, then
increase until it had filled me to overflowing and drowned out all
thoughts but those of Abelard. How intently he gazed into my
eyes as I spoke, pouring out my very soul to him in our long
talks. Who had ever listened to anything that I said? Who had
ever responded with smiles and compliments? With him, I
became utterly myself as never before—and, to my astonishment,
when I looked into his eyes like mirrors reflecting myself back to
me, I admired the person I beheld there. Thinking of him,
bathed in that sweet music, I would take up a new tablet and
write verses to accompany that tune—words not of feigned love,
as in our letters, but of the elation that had seized me on the day
we met, and which aroused my spirit more with every moment I
spent in his presence.

For him, I’d told myself, our letters made up an elaborate
game of elocution, and no more. Every teacher played similarly
with his scholars, writing letters as an exercise, an amusement.
Love? What had a philosopher to do with love?

To one who is sweeter from day to day, is loved now as much as
possible and is always to be loved more than anything. Standing in
the cathedral, reading these words, I felt a fullness in my chest, as
though my heart expanded. Who had ever loved me?

The Sharp Hook of Love, page 26

I could hardly hear myself think over my pulse’s throb. Heat
rose from him like breath. When he grasped my waist and pulled
me close to him, I thought I might burst into flame. A feral cry
escaped my lips.

Abelard slipped his arms around me and murmured my name,
a sound more delightful to my ear than angels’ harps. I knew I
should resist, but I had forgotten everything I had ever learned,
forgotten even God and that he watched us, or, rather, I did not
fear him. How could he be displeased, being the source of all
love?

The rattle of the door latch caused us to fly apart. In the next
moment Abelard sat in his chair, stylus in his hand, and I had
turned to close the shutters of my window.

I had not yet smoothed my tunic or quelled the flush in my
cheeks when the door swung open and my uncle walked into the
room, a long switch of birch in his right hand. “I heard a cry.”

I averted my gaze from the switch and from his glittering eyes,
praying he would not notice my crimson face.

“I had to discipline your niece, as you predicted,” Abelard
lied. “We disagreed in our debate, and she called me a bouffe.
Forgive me for losing my temper, friend.”

“My niece must learn to control her tongue.” Uncle glared at
me. “I’m surprised you haven’t needed to correct her before now.”

Turning to Abelard, he added, “My niece can be most obstinate—
obstinate! She must learn to submit to authority, or she
will never succeed at Fontevraud. You will need to punish her
again, I am certain. But the cane you use on your scholars is too
harsh for a woman’s tender flesh.” Uncle held the switch out to
him.

 “Thank you, Fulbert, my friend.” Will I ever forget the gleam
in Abelard’s eyes as he took the weapon in hand? “Heloise, be
forewarned. Do as I say—everything I say, or you will feel my
sting.”

He lifted the long, quivering branch and lashed it in my direction.
I turned away; its tip grazed my backside, causing a brief,
sharp flicker of pain. Heat flooded my face, and my bottom tingled
where the switch had stung me. I looked down at my
clasped hands, hiding my sudden elation. Never had I felt so vividly
alive.
The Sharp Hook of Love, pages 84-85



Praise for The Sharp Hook of Love

"Heloise is the sort of heroine you cannot help rooting for: brilliant and naÔve, vulnerable and tough. The Sharp Hook of Love will have you up all night holding your breath as you turn each page." (Rebecca Kanner author of Sinners and the Sea)

"Jones weaves history and passion in a tale full of emotional heft that questions what it means to truly love someone..." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A sensual journey into twelfth century Paris. With a sharp eye for historical detail, Jones weaves an unforgettable, compelling tale about enduring love." (Lynn Cullen nationally bestselling author of Mrs. Poe)

"Passion and treachery mingle in Sherry Jones's explosive novel The Sharp Hook of Love. Wrenching and erotic, this is a grand romance in every sense of the word." (Mary Sharratt author of Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen)

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Books-a-Million
iBooks
IndieBound
Simon & Schuster

About the Author02_Sherry Jones Author

Sherry Jones is the author of five biographical fiction books: The Sharp Hook of Love, about the famed 12th-century lovers Abelard and Heloise; The Jewel of Medina and The Sword of Medina, international ó and controversial ó best sellers about the life of Aíisha, who married the Muslim prophet Muhammad at age nine and went on to become the most famous and influential woman in Islam; Four Sisters, All Queens, a tale of four sisters in 13th century Provence who became queens of France, England, Germany, and Italy, and White Heart, an e-novella about the famous French ìWhite Queenî Blanche de Castille.

For more information please visit Sherry Jones's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Goodreads.

The Sharp Hook of Love Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 24
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Wednesday, November 26
Review at Book Babe
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, November 28
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Sunday, November 29
Spotlight & Excerpt at The Lusty Literate

Monday, December 1
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at Mina's Bookshelf

Wednesday, December 3
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 4
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, December 5
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Feature at Romantic Historical Lovers
Interview at To Read or Not to Read

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pompeii, in all it's glory! PLUS a GIVEAWAY!!!

Please join historical novelists Vicky Alvear Shecter, Sophie Perinot, Ben Kane, Kate Quinn, E. Knight, and Stephanie Dray as they tour the blogosphere for A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii, from October 27-December 5 with HF Virtual Book Tours!

In honor of the Blog Tour the authors have included a very special giveaway of a beautiful one-of-a-kind Roman style Necklace (18") and Earring set inspired by jewelry from the ancient world. Handcrafted of real carnelian, the most popular semi-precious gemstone of the ancient world, it was designed to commemorate the release of ìA Day of Fire.î Wear it yourself and imagine you are in Pompeii (not on the day of disaster of course), or, with the holidays approaching, it would make a great gift for a fan of ancient roman historical fiction.

01_A Day of Fire Cover
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Knight Media, LLC
eBook; 315p
ASIN: B00NI5CBXI

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain's wrath . . . and these are their stories:

A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing streets.
An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.
An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.
A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.
A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.
A priestess and a whore seek resurrection and redemption as the town is buried.

Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others' path during Pompeii's fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

my thoughts:
Who doesn't like a good story about Pompeii?  Well, in this book you get not one but SIX interwoven tales.  All stories contain dynamic characters who happened to be in Pompeii on that fateful day in 79AD.  (on 79CE).  Through these fantastic authors, we glimpse the day to day workings in an ancient Roman city.  We will visit the brothels, the amphitheater, and several other places.  We meet a Senator, both Pliny and Pliny the Younger, a prostitute and many many others.   

Usually in a book like this, I expect to find one or two stories to my liking.  In this book, all six were fantastic.   The descriptions of the volcano erupting are amazing.  We witness the courage and the fear of the poor people of Pompeii, unaware of the danger.

I encourage all to read this book.  If you are a fan of even one of these amazing authors, you may become a fan of the others!  


Pre-order/Buy the Book


Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Authors

Stephanie Dray

STEPHANIE DRAY is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical womenís fiction and fantasy set in the ancient world. Her critically acclaimed historical Nile series about Cleopatraís daughter has been translated into more than six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf. Her focus on Ptolemaic Egypt and Augustan Age Rome has given her a unique perspective on the consequences of Egypt's ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion. Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Learn more at www.StephanieDray.com



Ben Kane Ben Kane

BEN KANE worked as a veterinarian for sixteen years, but his love of ancient history and historical fiction drew him to write fast-paced novels about Roman soldiers, generals and gladiators. Irish by nationality but UK-based, he is the author of seven books, the last five of which have been Sunday Times top ten bestsellers.Benís books have been translated into ten languages. In 2013, Ben walked the length of Hadrianís Wall with two other authors, for charity; he did so in full Roman military kit, including hobnailed boots. He repeated the madness in 2014, over 130 miles in Italy. Over $50,000 has been raised with these two efforts. Learn more at http://www.benkane.net

Eliza Knight Eliza Knight

E. KNIGHT is an award-winning, indie national best-selling author historical fiction. Under the name, Eliza Knight she writes historical romance and time-travel. Her debut historical fiction novel, MY LADY VIPER, has received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Historical Novel Society 2015 Annual Indie Award. She regularly presents on writing panels and was named Romance Writerís of Americaís 2013 PRO Mentor of the Year. Eliza lives in Maryland atop a small mountain with a knight, three princesses and a very naughty puppy. For more information, visit Eliza at www.elizaknight.com.

Sophie Perinot

SOPHIE PERINOT is the author of the acclaimed debut, The Sister Queens, which weaves the story of medieval sisters Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence who became queens of France and England respectively. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. A long-time member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the groupís North American Conferences, serving as a panelist at the most recent. When she is not visiting corners of the past, Sophie lives in Great Falls, VA. Learn more at www.SophiePerinot.com


Kate Quinn Kate Quinn

KATE QUINN is the national bestselling author of the Empress of Rome novels, which have been variously translated into thirteen different languages. She first got hooked on Roman history while watching "I, Claudius" at the age of seven, and wrote her first book during her freshman year in college, retreating from a Boston winter into ancient Rome. She and her husband now live in Maryland with an imperious black dog named Caesar. Learn more at http://www.katequinnauthor.com

Vicky Alvear Shecter Vicky Alvear Shecter

VICKY ALVEAR SHECTER is the award-winning author of the young adult novel, Cleopatraís Moon (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra's only daughter. She is also the author of two biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. The LA Times called Cleopatraís Moon--set in Rome and Egypt--"magical" and "impressive." Publisherís Weekly said it was "fascinating" and "highly memorable." Her young adult novel of Pompeii, Curses and Smoke (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic), released in June 2014. She has two other upcoming books for younger readers, Anubis Speaks! and Hades Speaks! Vicky is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.vickyalvearshecter.com/main

A Day of Fire Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, October 27
Review at The Maiden's Court

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 30
Review at leeanna.me

Monday, November 3
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, November 5
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, November 10
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, November 12
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, November 13
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Tuesday, November 18
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, November 19
Review at Book Babe

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Reading the Past

Wednesday, November 26
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, November 28
Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, December 1
Guest Post at From the TBR Pile

Thursday, December 4
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, December 5
Review at Let Them Read Books

Giveaway


To enter to win this beautiful one-of-a-kind Roman style Necklace (18") and Earring set, hand-crafted with real carnelion, and inspired by jewelry of the ancient world, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open internationally.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 6th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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THE PRIESTESS AND THE PEN


about the book:

This groundbreaking book by brilliant debut author Sonja Sadovsky shines new light on how three profound minds shaped the course of history. The fantasy novels of Dion Fortune, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Diana L. Paxson influenced the image of the priestess in Neopagan and Goddess-centered spirituality throughout the world. The Priestess and the Pen shows how their work revolutionized womanhood, created space for women to reclaim their power, and energized the women's equality movement.

Presenting a radical reinterpretation of the Goddess as four-fold rather than three-fold, The Priestess and the Pen adds dimension and relevance to the traditional Triple Goddess archetype in a way that has never before been considered with such daring reverence. This revolutionary work is poised to become the foremost historical resource and contemporary interpretation of the Pagan priestess, taking up the torch of Drawing Down the Moon and Triumph of the Moon. 

Paperback, 240 pages

Expected publication: December 8th 2014 by Llewellyn Publications
ISBN 073873800X (ISBN13: 9780738738000)

my thoughts:

The Priestess and the Pen is a powerful piece of work. It is labeled "groundbreaking". This is a fair assessment of Sonja Sadovsky's book.

Using the writings of Pagan authors such as Dion Fortune, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana Paxson, Sadovsky explains each authors influence on goddess worship and modern paganism.

This is not light reading material. The reader must sit and concentrate on the subject at hand, but it will be worth it. Sadovsky was able to open my mind, broaden my thoughts and increase my understanding of her viewpoint. 

Some key ideas from the book:
"Priestess is a symbol of independent female authority, and a living link to the Goddess she serves."
There are four types of Priestess', each type is reviewed and explained in the book.
1. Earth Mother
2. Moon Mistress
3. Witch Queen
4. Warrior Queen

The Goddess herself is:
1. eternal
2. light and dark
3. maiden, mother and crone
4. dark mother of mystery.

Sadovsky further explains that the threefold goddess is not always accurate nor fitting. The goddess has a 4th face, "hidden but key to personal power and self identity."

The author herself sums up the Priestess and the Pen in the introduction by writing "Priestess and Pen focuses on the literary character of the Priestess in 20th century fiction"

I think she more than adequately succeeds in her goal. My understanding of Modern Paganism is greatly enhanced by reading this book and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Paganism, or the works of the three spotlighted authors.

FYI- everything in quotation marks was directly quoted from Ms. Sadovsky's work, the PRIESTESS AND THE PEN.