Tuesday, July 23, 2013

VBT and Review of One Stone Left Unturned

One Stone Left Unturned
by Marianna Heusler


At midnight on July 16th, 1918 Tsar Nicholas Romanov and his family was murdered, thus ending the Russian empire. Historians believe that a peasant by the name of Rasputin was instrumental in the downfall of the dynasty. Because Nicholas thought that Rasputin could cure their son, Alexis, who was suffering from hemophilia, Rasputin was able to influence the Imperial Family.

But what if Rasputin’s power did not come from God, as he claimed, but from a simple jewel, a tricolored, fifteen-carat tourmaline? And what if that very stone landed in the hands of a lonely teenager a century later?


It was difficult to sleep. Every time Tatiana opened her eyes, she saw creepy shadows flicker across the walls. And the soldiers below made so much noise, singing revolutionary songs. Tatiana thought that they were a disgusting group of people, much worse than the soldiers in Siberia. She couldn’t imagine this group helping to build a snow mound for sledding. These soldiers walked around with their shirts unbuttoned and their hairy chests exposed. They didn’t even bother with belts.

Tatiana was terrified to go to the bathroom. On the second day after they arrived, she was on the toilet when a tall, thin soldier burst in. He insisted upon watching her, so he could “guard her.” There were no locks on any of the doors, and the soldiers had rummaged through their luggage on several occasions, once even tearing up a photograph of Tatiana’s little dog, Ortino.

The family couldn’t even eat in peace. While they were around the small table, sweaty soldiers would put their filthy hands into the pot of veal stew to fish out large pieces of meat. When Nicholas pleaded with them to stop, one heavyset soldier with a scarred face and a bald head told Tatiana’s father that he had enough to eat and called him, “Nicholas, the Blood Drinker.”

Tatiana fled from the table, but she was followed by two soldiers who stood over her and gaped at her when she sank into her bed.

Whatever hope she might have clung to was rapidly disappearing as she watched her parents humiliated, his sisters degraded, her brother scorned. These soldiers hated the entire family. They don’t even know us, she cried into her pillow, and when she looked up, a soldier was leaning over her bed.

She ran back to the kitchen.

 My thoughts...

Absolutely brilliant!!  Marianna Heusler gives her reader a well crafted story that blends the story of the last Russian czar with the life of an American teenager and her aging grandmother - seamlessly!!  

To Purchase:  Wild Child Publishing

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marianna Heusler is a native of Holyoke, Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a BA in English Literature and a minor in education.

The author of over one hundred short stories, her work has appeared in magazines such as Woman’s World, Mystery Time, Calliope, Futures, Writer’s International Forum and Orchard Press as well as numerous anthologies. Her novel Buried In The Townhouse was published by Pendulum Press and was nominated for The Franklin Award.

The Night The Penningtons Vanished is a young adult book, the first in a mystery series, featuring Isabella Ripa. The story takes place in a small town in western Massachusetts and was released by The Larcom Press and nominated for an Edgar. The sequel The Day The Fortune Teller Died was also published

She wrote a young adult novel Angels From The Alphabet and a middle grade fantasy Annabelle’s Monsters.

Hilliard & Harris published her mystery Murder at St. Poylcarp and the sequel Cappuccino at the Crypt. Both books were picked up by Worldwide Mysteries and became part of their book club.

For over twenty years, she taught at all grade levels and has also been a school librarian. Her other careers have included a cosmetic executive, an editorial assistant and a reporter. She is currently teaching third grade in private all girls’ school in Manhattan.

She volunteers for Visible Ink, a program at Sloan Kettering Hospital, which unites professional writers with cancer patients.

She lives in New York City with her husband, Joel and her son, Maximilian.


Twitter: @mariannaheusler

Facebook: mariannaramondetta

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines, I received a free trade paperback edition of this book from the author and Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I was in no way compensated for this post, and the thoughts are my own.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Virtual Review Tour: Treasuring Theresa by Susan Ellis (Goddess Fish)

Treasuring Theresa
by Susana Ellis


At the betrothal ball of the man she had expected to marry herself, Lady Theresa latches on to Damian Ashby, hoping to divert attention from her own humiliating situation. Of course, she's not seriously interested because he's a useless London fribble, in her opinion. He is not favorably impressed with her either.

Still, she's the daughter of an earl, and he's the heir to her father's title and estate, so they are destined to spend more time in each other's company…sooner rather than later. And who knew that the two of them would develop an unlikely attraction to one another?

But can a London swell and a country lady ever make their diverse lives and interests work together?


Copyright © SUSANA ELLIS, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Chapter One
May 1810
The Sedgely Mansion
Mayfair, London

Damian Ashby, Viscount Clinton, looked down upon the festive ballroom with a critical eye as he waited in the reception line. Greek statues and scrolled Ionic columns, along with draperies of white and gold and a profusion of candelabras wrapped in ivy, trumpeted the classical theme. A brief survey of the guests confirmed his suspicion that the Sedgelys did not socialize in the first circles of the ton. Except for his cousin, the Earl of Granville, whose heir he was and at whose behest he had deigned to attend, Damian himself appeared to be the highest ranked in attendance.

And frankly, he’d rather be indulging in an intimate dinner and sensual dessert with his mistress than attending a provincial betrothal ball held for two people he’d never met.

“Charmed, I’m sure” he said disdainfully as he greeted his hosts. The pudgy Mr. Sedgely, a banker, and his horse-faced wife, second cousin to a baron, socialized on the fringes of theton, which is why he’d never encountered them previously.

The balding gentleman waiting to greet him on the next step down introduced himself as Squire Bromfield, father of the bridegroom. “So good of you to come,” he boomed, “considering I’ll be your neighbor one day. Or at least my son will, if I’ve shoved off by then.”

“Indeed,” Damian replied, shuddering inwardly at the thought of socializing with such boorish people. After he inherited, he planned to reside at Granville Manor for one week annually during the hunting season. The rest of the year it would be left under the management of a capable steward while he continued to enjoy the pleasures of civilized society in London.

He was calculating the most direct path to the card room when a young lady pounced on him.

“Why, I do believe it’s Cousin Damian! How delightful to see you again!”

She was passably pretty, he thought, although her marine-blue gown was not in the first stare of fashion. He could find no fault with her small waist and full breasts, although he personally preferred a more voluptuous figure. Her hair was too dark a blonde to be in vogue, and the simple chignon indicated that she had arranged it herself without the assistance of a maid. But it was her tantalizing eyes that drew his attention—a deep cerulean blue that reminded him of the Adriatic Sea and a pleasurable interlude on a beach with a sultry Greek barmaid during his European tour a few years ago.


She swatted his arm with her fan.

“You don’t remember me, do you, Cousin Damian? It has been an age since your visit to Granville at Christmastime. It was five or six years, perhaps, but I still had no trouble recognizing you!”

His memory yielded the image of a younger version of the girl before him. Barely out of adolescence, she’d been as provincial as the others in the tedious party.

“Lady Theresa,” he said. “How delightful to see you again!”

“Cousin Theresa,” she insisted. “Strict propriety need not be followed among relations, you know.”

“Although a high-stickler would point out our blood relationship is somewhat diluted,” he reminded her, “our grandfathers being merely cousins and all.”

She grinned. “Isn’t it fortunate there are no high-sticklers here?”

The first notes of a waltz were struck. “What luck!” she said, pulling him onto the dance floor. “Come dance with me, Cousin Damian. I do so adore waltzes!”

He could have—should have—cut her for her impertinence. If he’d been ambushed in such a manner by any other young lady at a ton ball, she’d have been dealt a severe set-down. But among a roomful of provincials, Lady Theresa, as the daughter of an earl, outranked everyone except her father and himself. And seeing as she was the one who would be displaced when he inherited her father’s estate, he decided to ignore her lapse in manners. More or less.

“How fortunate that we both have this dance available,” he said with a hint of reproof.

“Oh la,” she said. “I don’t have so many partners that I must write down their names. And you just arrived,” she said with a triumphant smile.

A country bumpkin, thought Damian in disgust. Bruiting about her own unpopularity so candidly. She would be a pariah at any civilized ball.

She danced surprisingly well for a country girl, he thought as they whirled around the room. She felt good in his arms and the scent of her hair wafted up to his nose. Lavender.

Her astonishing eyes peered up at him, sparkling with interest. Oh no, he groaned inwardly. Here it comes.

“You are easily the most refined gentleman here,” she gushed. “Your apparel outshines even Reese’s, and he is the guest of honor.” Seeing his puzzled look, she explained. “Reese Bromfield, Squire Bromfield’s son. The husband-to-be.” She nodded toward a hulky blond man dancing with a pretty redhead. “That’s Eugenia Sedgely, his fiancĂ©e.”

Was it only his imagination that her voice shook slightly when she said that last word?      

My thoughts...

I enjoyed Treasuring Theresa and thought that Susana skillfully presented characters in this novelette that were as well developed as those in a full length novel.  I certainly was interested and engaged and was left wanting to know more.  Treasuring Theresa is a perfect nibble of Regency England that leaves the reader with a taste of something wonderful and a hope that more will be soon to come.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around England and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.

Susana’s Parlour (Regency Blog): http://susanaellisauthor.wordpress.com

Susana’s Morning Room (Romance Blog): http://susanaauthor.wordpress.com

To Purchase Treasuring Theresa

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines, I received a ebook edition of this book from the author and Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I was in no way compensated for this post, and the thoughts are my own.

Sunday Post, Second Edition

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~
It's a chance to share news, to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received as well as share news about the week's upcoming events on your blog.

The Sunday Post, Second Edition

Week of July 14 - July 20: The motto for the week – Better late than never!!
July 16:  Top Ten Tuesday #2 – Top Ten Authors that deserve more recognition…  (I was late, posting on Thursday, but I am doing my best to keep my head above water and stick to my intended course!)
July 17: Virtual Book Blast for Just Perfect by JoMarie DeGioia for Goddess Fish
Participated in WWW meme for first time, I found it a nice way to gain some hump day perspective!
July 12:  Feature and Follow #2 – Favorite Book Vacay Spot

Week of July 21 - July 27
July 22:  Review Treasuring Teresa, by Susana Ellis (Goddess Fish)

July 23:  Review One Stone Left Unturned, Marianna Heusler (Goddess Fish)

Top Ten Tuesday #3
July 24:  WWW?
July 26:  Feature and Follow #3
July 27:  Review The Paris Lawyer, by Sylie Granotier (France Book Tours) 

Just Finished: 
Plain Jane
One Stone Left Unturned
Wolf Wood

Need to Review:
The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots
The Young Elizabeth
To Die For
Treasuring Teresa (7/22)
Plain Jane
One Stone Left Unturned (7/23)
Wolf Wood (8/26)

Need to Read:
Out of the Light of Darkness, Edward Donnelly (Author's Alliance)
The Great Succession Crisis, Laurel Rockefeller, (AA)
The Sanctity of Love and War, Amy Ferguson, (AA)
The Altarpiece, Sarah Kennedy (AA)
the fate of Mercy Alban, Wendy Webb (AA)
At the Bequest of Big Daddy, Jo-Ann Costa (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours)
Silk Romance (France Book Tours)
The King of Threadneedle Street (Goddess Fish)

Best wishes to everyone for a magical week ahead!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #2

Feature and Follow Friday #2

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. To promote a sense of community among bloggers, have some fun and follow and discover new blogs!!

This week:

Book Vacay: Where is the best destination reading spot for you? (Where do you like to go to read other then your home)??

I like a quiet spot with natural noises without too much sun and a gentle breeze.  I haven't found this place, but I imagine it's something like this...

I am looking forward to everyone's book vacay spots!  I hope some actually have experienced them!

W... W... W... # 1 (Btr Late than Not at ALL!!)

Another new weekly meme for me but I think it is a great way to reassess at midweek. So...

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish?

What will you read next?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #2

I have made a mid-year resolution... to start participating in memes!  I cannot say why I have waited so long or really why I feel the need to begin now, but I am looking forward to connecting with other bloggers and having some fun with the blog at the same time. 

I have chosen to begin with Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) which originated as an   feature/weekly meme created by  The Broke and the Bookish (TBTB) but I found the meme while checking out Starbucks and Books Obsession.

Each week features a new topic for your "List of Ten".  The topic is posted by TBTB but the best feature is that the topics, through October, are already posted on their blog! TBTB also have a linky post so that all the participating blogs can mingle...

Top Ten Tuesday: #2

This week's topic:  Top Ten Author's Who Deserve More Recognition

(Better late than never for this meme post... sorry!)

I doubt that I will be able to come up with ten but certainly a few come to mind immediately...  Click on the titles for my review of each.

Le Temps Viendra, Volume I, by Sarah Morris

My Lady of Cleves, by Margaret Campbell Barnes

The Last Queen, C. W. Gortner

I am truly looking forward to seeing the other lists... For me, these are the novels that stick out most in my mind as I look back over the last year...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Super Book Blast: Just Perfect by JoMarie DeGioia

Just Perfect

by JoMarie DeGioia


William Chesterton, the Earl of Chester, might be the perfect gentleman, but his feelings for Constance Bridgewater are anything but gentlemanly.

Constance Bridgewater, the daughter of the late Earl of Bridgewater, might be the perfect lady, but her feelings for the Earl of Chester are anything but ladylike.

They both know that if they were together, everything would be just perfect.

So what is keeping them apart?


London, England 1825

William Chesterton, the Earl of Chester, sat in his comfortable parlor swirling an untouched glass of brandy in his hand. Spring had come at last to London, though the April evening was still chilled and damp. His staff had seen to the modest fire burning behind the grate, and the warmth lulled him into a false sense of serenity. It did nothing to dispel the turmoil deep inside, however.

Most of the ton, his closest friends included, believed he was a steady man with a calm demeanor. That was true, for the most part. In the whole of his life, from his privileged childhood through his early ascension to the earldom upon his dear father’s passing, he’d been as steady as the Thames. Stalwart companion, dutiful only son, closest confidant. It was all so bloody boring.

He drank from his glass at last, his eyes on the fire. Tonight had gone just as so many nights before. The season was in its early stages and yet the parties and frivolities had already started. He’d joked with his friends, danced with their wives and sisters, and made certain not to show undue attention to marriage-minded young ladies. Their mothers would love to snare the calm and affable Earl of Chester for their daughters. That was certain.

He’d played his part as was expected, and even managed to ignore the urge to dance with one particular young lady more than the allotted two times. It had nearly killed him. Constance Bridges, the late Earl of Bridgewater’s daughter, was the only woman he wanted for more than two dances.

Her lithe body, her pale golden hair and sparkling gray eyes, were like no other woman’s he’d encountered. Last year, at yet another interminable house party, at one of his happily married cohorts’ estates, he’d attempted to make her see she was more than a pleasant diversion. He wasn’t merely a willing dance partner or riding companion, either. He might have acted a bit wild, however, and no doubt frightened her out of her wits.

He lifted the glass to his lips again and smiled. Ah, but that five seconds he’d spent holding her close, her breath warm on his cheek, her pink lips so close to his . . . he still got hard thinking about the heat she hid beneath that alabaster skin. He’d seen burgeoning knowledge in those gray eyes of hers, too. She’d wanted him. He’d stake the considerable estate his father left him on that fact.

She was a puzzle, to be sure. So serene and bashful on the surface, yet he knew she was more than the perfect picture she presented. He downed his brandy and let out a frustrated breath.

He was tired of playing the nice fellow. If he risked his lauded reputation in the process, so be it. He wanted more in his life than polite dinners and mildly pleasant diversions. He wanted love and passion and everything his friends had been lucky enough to find.

He knew Constance was the one to show him that heat. He drained the glass, letting the smooth liquor burn pleasantly down his throat.

He couldn’t wait to find out just how hot the fire inside her burned.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

JoMarie DeGioia has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and has spent years giving voice to the characters in her head. She’s known Mickey Mouse from the “inside,” has been a copyeditor for her town’s newspaper, and a bookseller. She writes Historical and Contemporary Romances, along with Young and New Adult Fantasy stories. She divides her time between Central Florida and New England. You can contact her at JoMarie@JoMarieDeGioia.com

To purchase Just Perfect Amazon

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Post, First Edition

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~

It's a chance to share news, to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received as well as share news about the week's upcoming events on your blog.

The Sunday Post, First Edition

Week of July 7 - July 13
July 9:  Participated in First Meme - Top Ten Tuesday
July 11:  Reviewed A Spear of Summer Grass for France Book Tours
July 12:  Participated in First Feature and Follow
Also this week I am happy to announce that I will be working with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours as a stop on a tour in August.  I am excited to be working with them and hope it is a LONG and happy collaboration!!

Week of July 14 - July 20
1.  I will be participating in the Tuesday, Friday and Sunday memes again.

2. The Book Tour for The Art of Temptation begins tomorrow and TMHR will host on 8/19.
Synopsis: After seven failed seasons, Valerie Hempstead decides to take her fate into her own hands, and a tour of the continent is just the thing. Accompanied by a female cousin, and the girl’s childhood companions--all of whom live fast and for the moment, Valerie is about to discover more about life than she anticipated.
Travis Elijah Colin Wade, the son of no one in particular, has just been handed a vast amount of money and a large country estate and, of all things, a bloody title. However, he's not at all pleased about leaving his care-free bachelor days behind. Determined to spend some of his money and relax before assuming his duties for Queen and country, Travis goes abroad. Little does he know that he is about to be utterly swept away by the seduction of innocent surrender.

3. The Book Tour for Promises My Love, the sequel to Promises to Keep, begins tomorrow and TMHR will host on on 9/23.
Synopsis: Francis Frailey fears he might become as abusive as his uncle once was, so he admires his young family from a distance. His plan is lonely, but safe, until his wife Christine sneaks past his staunch decorum. With tender devotion she coaxes him beyond his wretched childhood memories to a place where trust and love grows.
The fragile bond shatters when Francis’ family intervenes and he must decide if hate will rule his heart. Christine promises forgiveness will make him whole, but Francis aches for revenge. He’s determined to kill his uncle and be done.
Christine’s brother, Joe Douglas, has plans of his own that include asking his wife Annie to face her troubled past. But to help Christine, Joe agrees to go after Francis and bring him home. Taking his young son and nephew with him unhinges them all. Joe doesn’t know if the love Francis has for his son is stronger than the hate he harbors for his uncle. Or perhaps Francis despises himself most of all. Joe fears the wrong person may end up dead.

4. 7/17 Book Blast for Just Perfect by JoMarie DeGioia

Just Finished:
The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands
A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn

Need to Review:
The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots
The Young Elizabeth
To Die For
Treasuring Teresa (7/22)

Need to Read:
Out of the Light of Darkness by Edward Donnelly, (Author's Alliance)
The Great Succession Crisis, Laurel Rockefeller, (AA)
The Sanctity of Love and War by Amy Ferguson, (AA)
One Stone Left Unturned by Marianna Heusler, (GF)

Best wishes to everyone for a magical week ahead!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #1

Feature and Follow Friday #1

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. To promote a sense of community among bloggers, have some fun and follow and discover new blogs!!

Look who was just PHOTOBOMB'ED!!!

Ahhh... my favorite royal couple seeming to be enjoying each other's company after a few rough patches of late.... but wait.   

In this one I can see that someone is up to mischief.  God's teeth it is that mousy Jane Seymour.   She is becoming a nuisance!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I can't wait to see your photobomb creations.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

VBT Stop and Review of A Spear of Summer Grass, Deanna Raybourn

 France Book Tours presents...

A Spear of Summer Grass

by Deanna Raybourn

Synopsis: [sex and violence present but not graphic]

Paris, 1923
The daughter of a scandalous mother, Delilah Drummond is already notorious, even among Paris society. But her latest scandal is big enough to make even her oft-married mother blanch. Delilah is exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather's savanna manor house until gossip subsides.

Fairlight is the crumbling, sun-bleached skeleton of a faded African dream, a world where dissolute expats are bolstered by gin and jazz records, cigarettes and safaris. As mistress of this wasted estate, Delilah falls into the decadent pleasures of society.

Against the frivolity of her peers, Ryder White stands in sharp contrast. As foreign to Delilah as Africa, Ryder becomes her guide to the complex beauty of this unknown world. Giraffes, buffalo, lions and elephants roam the shores of Lake Wanyama amid swirls of red dust. Here, life is lush and teeming—yet fleeting and often cheap.

Amidst the wonders—and dangers—of Africa, Delilah awakes to a land out of all proportion: extremes of heat, darkness, beauty and joy that cut to her very heart. Only when this sacred place is profaned by bloodshed does Delilah discover what is truly worth fighting for—and what she can no longer live without.

A Spear of Summer Grass, by Deanna Raybourn
384 pages, ISBN 978-0778314394, MIRA
Available in trade paperback at Amazon, B&N, Indiebound, Books-A-Million or digitally for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or from iBooks.

Author bio:
As a sixth-generation native Texan, I grew up in San Antonio, where I met my college sweetheart. I married him on graduation day and went on to teach high school English and history. During summer vacation when I was twenty-three, I wrote my first novel. After three years as a teacher, I left education to have a baby and pursue writing full-time.

Fourteen years and many, many rejections after my first novel, I signed two three-book deals with MIRA Books.

"Sex, lies and awesome clothing descriptions" is how one reader described my debut novel, Silent in the Grave, published in 2007. The first in the Silent series, the book follows Lady Julia Grey as she investigates the mysterious death of her husband with the help of the enigmatic private enquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane. From the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to a Gypsy camp on Hampstead Heath, Silent in the Grave was my love letter to Victorian London.

The series continues with the second book, Silent in the Sanctuary (2008), a classic English country house murder mystery with a few twists and turns for Brisbane and Lady Julia along the way, while the third book, Silent on the Moor (2009), is set in a grim manor house on the Yorkshire moors. My favorite part of writing Moor was getting to spend time in Yorkshire, one of the most wildly beautiful places I have ever been.

March 2010 saw a departure from the series with the release of The Dead Travel Fast, a mid-Victorian Gothic thriller that chronicles the adventures of novelist Theodora Lestrange as she leaves the safety and security of her Edinburgh home for the dark woods and haunted castles of Transylvania. I returned to Lady Julia and her companions with Dark Road to Darjeeling (October 2010), this time delving into my most exotic setting yet in the foothills of the Himalayas. The fifth series book, New York Times bestseller The Dark Enquiry (July 2011) saw Lady Julia back in her beloved London again, while a digital holiday novella, Silent Night (November 2012) highlighted the March family festivities at Bellmont Abbey.

But 2013 introduces a new setting to my work—1920s British East Africa. In A Spear of Summer Grass (May 2013), disgraced flapper Delilah Drummond is sent to Africa to weather the storm of her latest scandal. There she meets Ryder White, a local legend for more reasons than one—and the perfect man to teach her about the continent he loves. Ryder was introduced to readers in the digital prequel novella Far in the Wilds (March 2013).

 I am thrilled that 2014 will see another 1920s release, City of Jasmine (May 2014), and I am hard at work on my next project in my little pink study in Virginia with a doodle draped over my feet as I write.
You can find me blogging a few days a week at http://deannaraybourn.com/blog/. Be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter, check out my contests and book trailer videos, and find me on Twitter and Facebook.

My thoughts…
Truly a mesmerizing journey from cover to cover.   A Spear of Summer Grass was more than a novel; it was a gift that touched my very soul.  I had no idea when I began the adventure that Deanna Raybourn had planned so many twists and turns, half starts and reversals, but oh she did and I am the much better for it!

A Spear of Summer Grass isn't just a novel.  Rather it is an exceptionally rich interweaving of many characters and plot lines that each dare to drag you in another direction at the beginning of each chapter and just when you have your bearings the story knocks you over again.  The story is so full and the narrative so rich I daresay there is something in the pages of A Spear of Summer Grass for everyone.  
For this reader, this novel sings the song of a continent near and dear to my heart, Africa.  I discovered African history as an undergraduate and remember leaving every lecture in awe of the rich history that had been denied to be until that point.  It always seemed so tragic to me that most students wouldn’t have the chance to learn about the Africa that I was coming to know and love.  Therefore, I was almost knocked off my feet when Raybourn’s novel led me back to one of my favorite regions of Africa, the Horn, to the land now known as Kenya. 

Having never read a novel based in colonial Africa I was filled with eagerness with a touch of anxiety, but truly my anxiety was misplaced.  Raybourn provides her reader with a true portrait of Kenya and Africa, a land rich so rich in history and natural beauty inhabited by a culturally diverse population of a myriad of tribes and clans that it seems overwhelming, but truly Raybourn has succeeded in giving her reader the essence of Africa.  I felt every tingle of delight, every twitch of fear, could almost smell the animals and hear the wind on the savannah.  A Spear of Summer Grass is a truly wonderful contribution to historical fiction and a wonderful gift to Africa herself.

I raise another metaphorical toast to Raybourn for giving me the pleasure of Delilah Drummond’s company.  Oh, again this character, just truly spoke to me.  I felt a bit of a kindred spirit to Delilah and couldn’t help but laugh when she reminded me of myself, but did she surprise me?  Yes, most certainly and I am so very glad she did. 

Needless to say I recommend A Spear of Summer Grass without a moment’s hesitation and would add that if you don’t find it at least a tenth as superb as I have described you might want to check your pulse.

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines, I received a free trade paperback edition of this book from the author and France Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I was in no way compensated for this post, and the thoughts are my own.


Monday, July 8
Review + Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, July 9
Interview+ Giveaway at Words And Peace

Wednesday, July 10
Giveaway at Vvb32 Reads

Thursday, July 11

Friday, July 12
Review + Giveaway at Caffeinatedlife.net

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