A Tale of Two Pages

Books, Books and More books! There is never enough time in the day for all the books, but here we will post books worth reading, discuss why some are not worth wasting your time and more!

Enough secrets to make two trips around the sun

The English Wife - Lauren Willig

Just a heads up, do not start this book unless you plan to stay up all night and read. This is one that you cannot start and put down to come back to later. You are going to be stuck until you know the absolute truth. Ms. Willig's writing reminds me of Daphne du Maurier.

Georgie has no illusions about the future, and what might be waiting for her. Memories of the past are just that, and she is determined to keep as far ahead of them as she can. Not all memories are good, and the ones that Georgie is running from would make another person cringe with fear. Not that she is not afraid, but she built up a wall - refusing to allow anything to get under her skin. She thought she could handle anything, but she did not count on Bayard Van Duyvil. When this sweeping young man comes into her life, she is anything but gracious. That he is rich is one thing, but men are always after just one thing. Bay is determined to prove her wrong, and over the next several weeks courts her quietly. While she wonders why he really is interested in her, her own feelings overwhelm her rational. Before long, they marry and prepare to return home, to face his formidable mother.
While they settle into their new lives, Georgie has restyled herself as Annabelle Lacey. While she hopes to meld into society easily, she is not one for normal convention, and neither is her husband. Having grown up under his mothers withering glare, he is slowly discovering his own independence. Stuck at home with their mother is his sister Janie. She has yet to find her means of escape. But when Bay is found bleeding to death on the ground of his new home, and his wife missing no one knows what is going on. Wild rumors spring to life, and the papers are running with the story.
Janie, as quiet and mold-able as she is, has a hidden stubborn side. While her mother has relegated her to the background as unimportant, Janie is determined to see that her brother gets justice, and his name cleared of the rumors that are swirling around him and his wife. Enlisting the help of one of the journalists, they embark on a journey of truths, mystery and dark secrets that have been lurking in the shadows for far to long.
While they begin to untangle the webs that have molded their family name, the truth might be something that no one can deal with, and leave some newfound truths in their wake...

Seriously enjoyed this book. There are some adult themes in the book, so not something that I would recommend to anyone under 18, but this story draws two worlds together and fleshes them out. Secrets, lies and half truths have been overlooked, and squirreled away all to protect a family name. The matriarch of the family is one that will go to any length to protect their good name - and perhaps even some lengths that others are not aware of - all to keep their standing within the community.
As I stated above, do not start this book if you have any plans on sleeping, it is one that will draw you in and keep you turning pages until the very end.

Overwhelmed and books to boot!

Have you ever had so many books on your to-read shelf that you do not know where to start? That is where I am at right now! I just started looking for the new book for a book club, and when I pulled up Goodreads.com, I realized that I had over 3000 books saved - and that is just to read! Not only that, but I also have the couple of hundred books that are in my house that I have not even touched. There are more hiding on my kindle, some on my phone, Netgalley, Scribd,and some that are in the other houses at the moment as they have been loaned out.

 

There are days that I think I should get rid of all the books that I have not read yet and start over, but there is so much money tied up in books. I am sure that I could sell them and probably pay off one of the student loans that I have, but then I would have to go into debt to pay them off. 

 

I know that this sounds like simple rambling, but there are days that books just seem simply to many. I have three rooms in my house overflowing with books, and yet I want more! Books are one of the many things that I take pleasure in, and there are times that I want to just hide in the closet and read the day away (okay, lets be honest, I have done it), and forget the normal humdrum of everyday life. There are days that we just need to forget the crazy and live in a fantasy world.

 

We all have our favorite types of genre's to read, but there are some that we enjoy more than others. I dive into those as often as I can, but keep finding more and more that I want to read. I think at this point, my reading list exceeds my great grandchildren's life expectancy. 

 

What do you enjoy reading and what are your favorites?

Godwine Kingmaker Book Review

Godwine Kingmaker: Part One of The Last Great Saxon Earls - Mercedes Rochelle

Godwine has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the most powerful men in England, but with power comes jealousy. 
Godwine finds a wandering Dane in the woods and taking him back to his house, they feed the man. Come to find out he is a Jarl for the Danes. Godwine ends up leaving with the Jarl, taking him back to his own ships, and then sailing away with them. As he watches England fade into the distance he wonders where his future will lead. 
Coming into manhood in the service of the Danish king, he grows into positions of power. Serving through the kingdoms of FOUR kings, he incurs the wrath of Edward. Fleeing England, he waits for the correct timing to return, and make his position clear. He is hoping to regain his lost earldom, correct the wrongdoings in the nation, and rid the nation of the unwanted Norman advisors which are turning the king down the wrong path. 

I really enjoyed this read, it was fantastic and kept me hooked from start to finish. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series! 

The Last Thing She Ever Did - Book Review

Happy New Year!! I am coming to you with my first review of the year, and oh my was it a doozy! I could not put it down, and for that I will end up suffering a book hangover for the remainder of today. Enthralling, engaging, torturous, and delightful... Get ready to be in for one thrilling read, and not be able to put it down until you are completely finished! Book hangover material has returned!

 

Liz has a scared past with the place of her youth. Surviving a flash flood which claimed the life of a friend, she has been careful to avoid the location for years. But returning to the house that her grandparents owned has given Liz and her husband Owen a new start. She is studying to be a lawyer and he is helping to develop a new program that will land him millions. Everything is going perfect, until Liz accidentally hits their neighbors child.

What starts out as a simple accident quickly escalates into a tangled web of deceit. While Liz does her best to console her friend, the guilt is eating away at her. Little does she know the secret that her husband is harboring, and the lies that are being spread. She can barely hold herself together, and would rather just tell the truth, but her husband keeps her at bay. Feeding her pills and wine to keep her sedate and somewhat calm, she slowly unravels even further. As her neighbor relies on her more and more, Liz is doing her best to keep everything under control, but the pain of what she has done is eating her alive. As the days tick by with no news, she begins to wonder what has happened to the little boy they so carefully smuggled out of the neighborhood.
As time goes by and Carole becomes even more unraveled, Liz knows that she cannot hang on for much longer, but the truth of what really happened to little Charlie will leave everyone in Bend Oregon scratching their heads at the truth...

 

Second Chances and Hope

The Outcasts of Time - Ian Mortimer

What would you do if you knew that you were dying? Would you take your fate and hope for the best, or try and make a deal?
John and William are two brothers who are living through the black plague. As people die around them, they work on getting back home, just hoping that they can make it alive. As they pass the dead and dying, John wonders about his soul, and whether he would make it to heaven or not. As they pass a young couple on the road, John notices a baby, and he refuses to leave the child even though the parents are dead of the plague. As they carry the screaming babe through the night, William curses his brother, but John could not allow the child to die alone on the side of the road. They head to the home of an acquaintance, who is nursing a child of her own and can at least feed the child until they can read their own home. But as they enter the home and the woman goes to care for the child, it is discovered that he is plague ridden. The brothers leave the home, and are soon sick themselves, but John heard a voice telling him to go to a certain spot. 
Once there, they both hear a voice, although it tells them different things, they are given an amount of time, each day will be 99 years in the future, and they can see the changes that are coming. As they set out, the changes are shocking, and dangerous. 

This was an exciting read. I had a hard time putting it down. As John and William work their way through the different centuries they remember home, and do their best to make the most of their situation. As time goes on, and the days dwindle, both are ready for death and the end of their suffering. John suffers through the choices that he has made, wondering if anything he did made any difference. 
This shows the good and the bad of each century. While there are some who enjoy the suffering of those around them, there are those who are determined to do good, and to try and make the world around them a better place. Hope and chance - the ability to work through the challenges of what life throws at you, and the eventuality of what the choices of one person in the past could have on the future generations. 

Reviewing "Sinking the Sultana"

Get ready for a read that will make you sit back and shake your head...

The Sultana was a ship that should have had a long and glorious career on the Mississippi river. During the Civil War, shipping along the river was slow, but it could be done. Danger, excitement, and money drove the trade during the war years.
After the war, there was even more money to be made, and many boats made money by taking soldiers that had been POWs during the war home. They were to be mustered out of the Army and sent home. Many of them were sick, weakened during their time in camps such as Andersonville that housed thousands more than it was originally constructed for. But the needs outweighed the risks. Many, men like Colonel Hatch, found ways to make money during the war. It was these men that created more risks, and opened the door for later criticism from the public.
The Civil War was a defining time for the United States. The Sultana was something that should have never been relegated to the back pages of history, but time and circumstance conspired to bring this tragedy to an almost unknown portion of history. When the tragedy struck, President Lincoln had just been assassinated. The hunt for his killer was front page news. As the nation mourned the loss of its President, hundreds of families mourned their lost loved ones. Men, women, children were all victims of this explosion. Soldiers, families, lives and careers lost in the blinding explosion that ripped through the early morning hours.
Families along the Arkansas shores woke to the screams and cries of the wounded. Many sprang into action, saving hundreds from a watery grave. Others slipped from their reach and were lost to the murky waters of the river. The explosion on the Sultana claimed more lives than the sinking of the Titanic, but due to its placing in history, has been lost to the annals of time.

While the public cried out for someone to pay for the loss of life, investigations continued, but no one would pay for the loss in full measure. Few were blamed, and those who should have carried the cost were lost to the military tribunal, simply by having resigned from the army before the investigation was concluded.

This tragedy is something that should not be lost entirely. The sinking was a tragic wake up call to those who sailed the river, and those who traveled along its banks. While the Sultana has been found and mostly reclaimed from the depths, the mystery still remains as to what could have caused the explosion. Sound theories have been put forth, but none have permanently answered the question satisfactorily so far. While the Sultana is once again reclaiming its history and time is allowing us the chance to find and know the names of those who were on board, we may never know its full answer. We might never get the entire list of names of those were lost, and those who survived. To this day, there are families of those who were lost aboard the Sultana and those who survived who still meet yearly. They are determined to not allow history to swallow this tragedy. For as someone once said "as long as someone remembers my name, I am not entirely lost to time."

I enjoyed this book. It gave a rather interesting look into some of the lives of the men who survived the Civil War - living through the horrors of the prison camps, only to lose their lives while headed home. We get the before, the during and the after in this book. We see what could have caused the explosion, the overcrowding which brought the number of the dead to horrific highs. This is a pretty decent book, and one that allows for those who want to do more research a great jumping off point.
Happy Reading!

 

Sinking the Sultana

Author: Sally M. Walker 

4/5 stars

Do you Netgalley?

How many of you are NetGalley junkies!? I know that I cannot be the only one on here that is addicted to that site. If you have not checked it out, get on and do so! It is fun, addicting, and the thrill of finding new books is exciting!

 

So I will notate my confession here....

I am addicted to NetGalley. I am hopelessly addicted to requesting books, and then freaking out when I have six that are due for reviews on the same day. I make my list and check it twice, hoping that I have not forgotten anything and ensuring that the books are listed in their proper order, so as to be read and reviewed before the archive date.

 

I know that for every book that you request, the chance is there that you will not be approved, so it is quite easy to go overboard on the requesting, not ever imagining that you might be approved for the majority of those requested.

 

Make your list, check it twice, and put the books in order that they need to be read. I currently have a massive list of "to read" and am excited to share some more book reviews with you this coming year! I have a few more to push out this year, and then its time to start fresh and new with the list of excitement. 

 

The Era that "could have been"

The Lost Kings: Lancaster, York, & Tudor - Amy Licence

Fortune's wheel doth constantly turn, and the turn of the wheel does not guarantee anything...

Ten men, ten fortunes, ten ways that history could have been changed in ways that we can only imagine today. Looking back on the lives of the those who were cut short, the ramifications on the next generation can clearly be seen. 
Taking a look at the lives of Edmund, Earl of Rutland, Edward of Middleham, Edward, Earl of Warwick, Arthur Tudor, and more, we see the unraveling of things that could have been. While we can say "could have, should have" now, it was not as cut and dry in those days. The mortality rates were high, and infant loss was normal. But these were not infants cut down before their life started, they were young men on the verge of breaking onto the international scene. Whether by illness or death in battle, we can look back at their lives and picture "what might have been."
Amy Licence does a great job in showing the dynamics of their lives, and of the lives of those around them. She fleshes out every aspect that she can find, while showing the courses that might have been open to them, had they lived. Henry Fitzroy was one of the most speculated characters. His father was setting him up for a bright future. Illegitimate or not, Henry VIII was determined that his son would have a glittering future, whether that be adviser to his future ruling children, or setting him up to be king in his own right. There are so many avenues that could have been taken, but death once again intervened, cutting short yet another life.

I enjoyed this read. It was something that I found to be interesting, but also provokes a lot of thought. The "might have been's" are prevalent, that they really make you think what history would have held if these young men had been able to fulfill their full potential. The one downside to this book was that there are some heavy biases in the text. While I can say as a historian we all have our biases, this book comes out with them extremely heavy in many cases. I would have enjoyed the book a bit more had they been a little more muted.

Princesses Behaving Badly... not quite the conventional lady

Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie (2013-11-19) - Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Not quite ladies. An interesting glimpse into the lives of some of the royal women in history. From ancient, to current, these women forgo the dainty and proper manners of their counterparts. Although the book itself had some interesting tid-bits, I found myself annoyed with some of the stories. It seems as though some of them could have been more of a paragraph, rather than drawn out, and it seemed as though they repeated themselves at times, just using different wording.But I pushed through the irritant, and finished the entire thing. While some of the women were known to me, there were some in there that I had never heard of.This would be a fun, in the car read, while you have some time to kill!

Update: While there has already been an edition published, check out the new edition coming in March for even more misbehaved royals!

6 places to meet book lovers

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

If you'd ask us to name 6 offline places to meet book lovers we would say:

1. A bookstore. Obviously

2. A library. Obviously

3. A cozy cafe. A cup of coffee and a book is a perfect duet

4. All public means of transport. Everybody knows that a lot of reading is done when commuting

5. The longest lines and the smallest waiting rooms. The process of waiting is bearable only with a book

6. A bedroom. We know you love reading in bed! Oops, no entry here?! That's why we have BookLikes!

 

What's your favorite offline spot to meet other book lovers?

 

BookLikes is a literary hub for all kind of book lovers. No matter whether you're a long time blogger, a newbie to the blogosphere, bestselling author or an aspiring writer, BookLikes is the place for You. The thing that brings us together is a true book love and the need to spread it among people alike, right? Let's do this!

 

Here are six BookLikes places where you can meet fellow readers and bloggers who may be a true inspiration for your TBR shelf and may become your new bookish BFF. 

 

1. Dashboard

 

When you log into your BookLikes Dashboard is the first place you discover. It's a place where you read your friends' book reviews and view their bookshelf updates. Remember that you need to Follow the blog to see the blogger's updates and reviews on your Dashboard. 

 

 

To meet other bloggers have a look at the activity log and comment section. By clicking the Blog name you can go directly to the blog's page and start following the book blog and the blogger's reading experiences. 

 

 

 

 

2. Explore

 

The Explore page is a BookLikes community in a nutshell. Take a peek at the hottest reviews, top bloggers and recently published reviews. To view the book blog, please click the blogger's avatar/photo. To follow the blog, click Follow in the upper right corner of the blog page. 

 

 

Have in mind that the Explore page is available for BookLikes members and non-BookLikes members. If you'd like to share the webpage with your fellow friends who haven't visited BookLikes yet, please do! 

 

 

3. Book Catalog & book pages

 

A book catalog page is an instant sneak peek into the book bloggers bookshelves. You can spot what books have been recently reviewed or added to the wish lists.

 

To discover who reviewed the book, click the book cover and you'll be moved to the book page with the community reviews. 

 

 

To read a full review and view the blog page click "see review" or the review's title. If you've enjoyed the review, follow the blogger and view the blog's reading news on your Dashboard. 

 

 

 

4. Timelines 

 

Each BookLikes blogger receives a webpage with a blog, bookshelf and a reading timeline. Your Timeline is a graphic representation of your BookLikes activity.

 

When you're visiting BookLikes bloggers have a moment and visit the blogger's Timeline. Maybe you'll spot a new book blog or an interesting review that your friend liked?

 

Make sure to click the text's title next to the avatar/photo to visit the blog page and to read the review, and to follow the blogger (if you've enjoyed the read). 

 

 

BrokenTune's Timeline

 

 

5. Discussions groups

 

If you're looking for new blogging friends or would like to say hello to the BookLikes community, visit BookLikes discussion groups. You can say Hi in the official BL group and introduce your blog in the Find new blogs to Follow. 

 

 

 

6. Friends tab

 

In the Friends tab you can view the list of bloggers who are following your BookLikes blog, it's a perfect spot to follow the blogger back and view new bookshelf news on your Dashboard. 

 

To build up your social circle invite your bookish friends to BookLikes. Add the e-mail address and press Invite, and your friend will receive an invitation to view your blog and to become your BookLikes blog friend. 

 

 

More tutorials can be found here, or click

the following link: http://booklikes.com/tag/tutorials

 

 

See you next Thursday!

Happy reading!

New blogs, new looks, and some perks for you!

Alright, folks, I am going to be doing something different coming in 2018. This year really derailed for me. Life got busy, work took over, and I was swamped for most of the year. We have been homeschooling our boys, so that took a bit more time off my plate than I thought. But we are finally into a routine, and it seems to be working. I have continued my reading, and am so close to my reading goal for the year. I am right now 13 books short of hitting 100 books read this year! I am so excited to hit this goal! 

 

I have already set my goal for next year, and again, I am going for 100 books. But I am going to trying to more on this blog for you next year! I am going to try and do some giveaways, to boot!  Everyone loves a free book now and again. 

 

Of course, I will continue with the book reviews. I need to go back and add in the ones that I read this year, but I am looking forward to sharing more with you this coming year. It will be a new beginning here, in a sense, starting over. Books are such a passion for me, and I want to be able to share more with each of you as well. There are such big plans in the future, but I cannot share them all here yet!

 

Do you have a reading goal for next year? Share it with me, and lets push each other to new goals!

 

More twists than an ice cream cone!

My Sister's Bones: A Novel of Suspense - Nuala Ellwood

Kate's work as a journalist takes her all over the world. She has been exposed to several situations that would break a weaker person, but Kate is tough. It is not until she gets personally involved with a family that she feels her world begin to crumble. With the death of a young boy, he begins to haunt her dreams. But he is not the only one. There are others, and the voices are not always quiet. She takes medicines to help her sleep, but they do not always work. When her mother dies, she returns home, but the voices return with her, and the cracks are beginning to show.

Kate's family is dysfunctional to the max. Her father was an alcoholic and abusive toward her and her mother. Her brother drowned when he was three, which caused a bigger rift in the family. Now that they are grown and their father is dead, her sister Sally has turned to alcohol to cope. Paul, her brother in law does his best to keep the family together, but even Sally's daughter Hannah has escaped her mother's wrath and run off. No one has heard from her in quite some time. Kate wants to see where her mother is buried, and Paul is more than willing to drive her around, to the lawyers and the graveyard. But when a young boy begins to appear in the garden at night, Kate is sure that she is not seeing things, but no one believes her. She does her best to find out what is going on, but the woman next door insists that there is no little boy living there. Kate knows what she has seen, but the police find no trace of a young boy anywhere. When she is arrested for assaulting the neighbor, Kate must undergo an evaluation to see if she must be kept for further treatment, or if she will be allowed to leave the center. She can be held for 72 hours while the doctor asks her all sorts of questions and drags her back to situations that she does not want to revisit. 

But when she is released and allowed to return to work, she escapes back to Syria determined to lose herself in her work and get her life back on track. Sally however, angry that Kate, perfect Kate, is fixing to leave again turns on her sister. The sisters have not been close for quite some time, but Kate reaches out to her, something that Sally does not remember since she was drunk again, but Kate is desperate to find out what is going on with the young boy next door. When a bomb hits the camp that she is staying in, she is feared dead, but Sally refuses to believe that Kate is gone. She holds onto the hope that she is missing and will resurface soon. When she gets a visit from their mother's neighbor, begging for help, Sally refuses to listen to her and turns her out. But after Paul leaves, and she listens to the dicta-phone that belongs to her sister she decides to pay the neighbor a visit to see what she wanted and see if she can get to the bottom of the mystery that Kate was concerned about when she left. But when she arrives she finds Fida at the bottom of the stairs bleeding, and a shock that no one could see coming that awaits her in the shed in the backyard....

Follow the story of Kate and Sally - the twists and the turns - as these sisters learn the meaning of family and in the end, solve a mystery that will leave the countryside shaking their heads over the fact that this could happen under their noses with no one being the wiser..

This was a book that was well worth reading! I was hooked from the beginning! There were several scenes that were rather hard to read through, but they drew the story together. The tapestry that is woven, through the eyes of the sisters is expertly done. This book will leave you wanting to know more at the end! Head over to the library and grab your copy today

Medieval Mayhem

The Medieval Anarchy: History in an Hour - Kaye Jones

Quick overview of the war between Stephen and Matilda for the control of England. This book makes for easy and fast reading, and covers the ground of the family feud quite well. 
**short review due to time of morning.. will add more soon**

A woman's worth..

The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women: A Social History - Elizabeth Norton

Take a step into the lives of Tudor women. From Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I, this book dives into the lives of not only the nobility, but some of the more notable names of the day. 

Most women were seen as quiet and "homemakers" some women in the Tudor ages made a name for themselves. Nuns, queens, and members of the working class, all of them had one thing in common.. they were women trying to survive in a male dominated world. They were not written into history of their own accord, but we can learn quite a bit about them from some of the surviving documents of the time, and through the lives of their husbands (of course). While some male figures, such as Henry VIII thrust many women into the spot light that might have had their names lost to time, there are others that made a splash into the spotlight owing to some very daring behavior. Anne Askew, Elizabeth Barton, Jane Dormer, and Cecily Burbage are just a few that are named in this commentary. 

This was an interesting read, and one that I enjoyed. While most of the names were familiar through other readings, there were a few that I had not heard much on before. This read is worth the time that it takes to get through it.

The Perfect Father... or the Perfect Terror

BoneMan's Daughters - Ted Dekker

Ryans life is semi-perfect. Husband, father, Naval officer, and adventures, it is what every person dreams of. But under the idyllic look, the cracks appear. His wife has never been faithful, his daughter loathes him, and when he is captured in the desert of Iraq, the remnants of his family fall apart.
Told he is not wanted, and a divorce pending, Ryan is adrift. But when his daughter is kidnapped by the serial killer known as the BoneMan, his entire world is turned upside down.
All he wants is for his daughter to survive, and he will do whatever it takes to ensure her safety. Hunted by the FBI and the District Attorney of Dallas, Ryan flees, making contact with the BoneMan to try and get his daughter back. What he gets is an angry DA and arrested. He is being held as the prime suspect in the murders of all the young women the BoneMan has claimed. But when the DA is murdered while Ryan is in custody, one FBI agent shares her doubts that Ryan is actually the BoneMan. Everyone else seems content to let the evidence fit, no matter who it is. 

But when Ryan escapes custody and is again captured by the BoneMan, there is only one father that will walk out of that basement alive....

This was a really good read! I LOVED this book! I have been meaning to read it for the past five years, but finally got around to picking it up! Oh my goodness! This is a book that will keep you on your seat! While the unfaithful wife bothered me (honestly, I wanted to slap the wife silly), as it plays to often into the scenarios that many military members face, reading and understanding the character of Ryan helped put into reality why it can happen, and of course, how you could avoid it. BUT, aside from that this was a fantastic and enjoyable read! Definitely one that I could see being read again in the future!

Not quite ladies

Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings - Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

An interesting glimpse into the lives of some of the royal women in history. 


Although the book itself had some interesting tid-bits, I found myself annoyed at the voice of the narrator. I listened to this on audiobook. But I pushed through the irritant, and finished listening to the entire thing. While some of the women were known to me, there were some in there that I had never heard of. 

This would be a fun, in the car read (but get the actual book).

Currently reading

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
The Painted Queen: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense (Amelia Peabody Series) by Joan Hess, Elizabeth Peters
The Prophetic Queen: The Tumultuous Life of Matilde of Ringelheim by Mirella Sichirollo Patzer
The Nazi Officers Wife: Summary and Analysis of The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived The Holocaust by Edith Hahn Beer by Summary Station
The Sword and the Circle: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Rosemary Sutcliff