Book Spotlight The Ghost of Glendale

The Ghost of Glendale

At twenty-four years old, Phoebe Marcham is resigned to spinsterhood, unwilling to settle for anything less than the deep love her parents had shared. That is, until adventurer Duncan Armstrong rides into her home wood, larger than life and with laughter in his eyes and more charm in his little finger than anyone she’s ever met before. Far from ridiculing her family ghost, Duncan resolves to help solve the mystery which has left Simon Marcham a spirit in torment for two hundred years.

Purchase from Amazon UK

Author Bio

Natalie is a published novelist and short story writer whose addiction to the books of Georgette Heyer and love of The Regency have been the inspiration for her latest book, The Ghost of Glendale.

Working on the premise that you never stop learning, she goes to any and every writing event and workshop she can. In addition she attends The Write Place Creative Writing School in Hextable in Kent, one of the rewards for which is an abundant supply of cream cakes to celebrate the frequent successes of its students.

Natalie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She lives with her husband in southeast London.

 Social Media Links

Twitter: @NatKleinman

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Claretta Street

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for historical fiction “Claretta Street”.

Tour Schedule

April 23rd: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

April 23rd: Promo Post @ Stacking My Book Shelves

April 24th: Promo Post @ Stormy Night Reviewing

April 26th: Author Interview @ Mythical Books

April 27th: Book Excerpt @ The Broke Book Bank

April 28th: Promo Post @ Lisa Queen of Random

April 29th: Book Excerpt @ T’s Stuff

April 30th: Book Excerpt @ Nesie’s Place

April 30th: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

About the Book

Title: Claretta Street

Author: Colette Barris

Genre: Historical Fiction

Claretta Street by Colette Barris is a novel of a generation, which follows four young girls affectionately known as the “Babies” as they weave through the turbulent sixties and Civil Rights, coming of age in the decadent and destructive eighties.

Claretta Street is set in the small Los Angeles suburb of Pacoima, a bustling Black-Pride filled town during the Civil Rights era. Pacoima, California, was one of the few places in California where racial covenants were non-existent, allowing African Americans to buy property and businesses without repressive laws working against them. African Americans flocked there to live the “American Dream.” Claretta Street is the complete tale of the African American fate.

Colette Barris brings a fresh voice to the plight of Black experience in America. Claretta Street is clear, concise, yet layered with the complexities that encompass the Black experience in a way not articulated in American literature in years.

Why Claretta Street is Needed…

Today countless discussions on the peril of Black America proliferate in the media, academia, and among social scientists, propelling this continuous Greek tragedy into the main view of America and the world. However, the incendiary foundation and epoch of this unfolding disaster must be told and the veil of destruction exposed-the eighties. Claretta Street takes the reader on a ride of unbelievable clarity and cause, as Denise, in ancient griot form, becomes the voice of the diaspora both prophetic and naïve, stripping down in plain view the causes and emotions of a time of great hope and sadness to preserve through decadence and decline.

Claretta Street is the story of hope and change coupled with the unfortunate forces and juxtaposition of man’s inhumanity and struggle all the while seeking hope and love.

Praise for Claretta Street

“Claretta Street is a classic in the making which depicts the voice and soul of Africans in America. Claretta Street by Colette Barris is a novel of a generation; gut wrenching, it leaves a knot in your throat wanting more.”
—Jackie Ferguson, daughter of famed Pan African nationalist Herman Ferguson

“Check out Claretta Street an amazing read needed now.”
—Kenya Barris, creator of Black-ish, Peabody winner and Emmy nominee.

Author Bio

Writer Colette Barris is a graduate of the University of Southern California, a native of Pacoima, and the older sister of Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Black-ish creator/writer and 2017 Peabody winner Kenya Barris.

Colette Barris brings a fresh voice to the plight of Black experience in America. Claretta Street is clear, concise, yet layered with the complexities that encompass the Black experience in a way not articulated in American literature in years.


Get Claretta Street at, Vroman’s Bookstore, and Book Soup.

Book Review: In First Person by Lucy Paz

Title: In First Person
Author: Lucy Paz
Genre: Historical, Autobiography
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Alice is thrilled with her new baby, but then war looms on the horizon

Since her baby was born Alice was in a permanent state of euphoria.She could spend hours cuddling her, feeding, doing everything possible just to touch her. But then black clouds gathered on the horizonas war loomed ahead.People began to hoard food, military-aged men disappeared from the streets, and long linesformed at stores. It was Alice’s first war in Israel, and the situation was grave.

The personal horror story of Alice’s first war comes back to haunt her

Alice was beside herself; the ground felt unsteady under her feet. Was it possible that what had happened then is going to happen again? Alice was born when World War II was raging. Her father joined the army and never returned. When the Nazis started transporting Jews to ghettos and death camps, her mother wanted to save her. So she gave her away.

Will Alice be mercilessly thrown back into the appalling experiences of her past?

Alice never knew her parents. They are faceless to her; she can’t see or imagine them. Was this war now happening so that Alice would finally be able to feel like her mother when she gave her child away?

During World War II, Alice’s father joined the army and never returned. Her mother gave Alice away in an effort to save her. Never having known their parents except from very vague memories, now Alice has a child of her, that child means the world to her.

When hr husband is called away for the war in Israel, Alice is left alone to take care of her child, and the memories of her childhood come back to haunt her.

In First Person is a book in two parts: one part focuses on the young Alice in her childhood and the struggles during World War II, and the other part focuses on older Alice struggling to take care of her own child during yet another war. This is a powerful story about the scars of the past and how they can haunt a person even years later.

Book Review: A Girl Called Renee by Ruth Uzrad

Title: A Girl Called Renee
Author: Ruth Uzrad
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Terrified after her father’s arrest by the Nazis, Ruth flees to Belgium.

This is the unbelievable autobiographical story of Ruth Uzrad, a Jewish teenager whose life was turned upside down by the Nazi regime. After her father was arrested one night from their Berlin apartment by the Gestapo, Ruth’s mother sends 13 year-old Ruth and her two younger sisters out on their escape route across Europe by train to the safety of Belgium.

But then the Nazis also reach Belgium, driving Ruth into the French Jewish underground…

Later, when the Nazis conquer Belgium, Ruth and one of her sisters escape to France, leaving the youngest sister behind to be taken in by a Belgian foster family. Later, Ruth joins the Jewish underground movement in France and takes on a false identity and a new name, Renee. As an underground fighter, she participates in special operations aimed at rescuing Jews in danger. When the German police set out to arrest her, she manages to cross the border into Spain and eventually makes her way to Israel, where she makes her home and spends the rest of her life.

I was so excited to start reading A Girl Called Renee because part of the book takes place in Belgium, the country where I live. The story certainly didn’t dissapoint, and I was really impressed by Ruth, and how strong she stayed in the face of so much evil.

So, first of all, this is an autobiographical book, meaning that the events happening in the book, actually happened. Although while you’re reading it, it’s hard to believe so much horror can actually be true, but we all know how horrible and devastating world war II was for so many people. Anyway, Ruth Uzrad was a Jewish teenager back then, and her father got arrested in Berlin by the Gestapo. Scared of what would happen to their family, Ruth’s mother sent 13-year-old Ruth and two young sisters away from Germany, and to the safety of Belgium.

Yet, the unthinkable happens, and the Nazis conquer Belgium. Ruth and one of her sisters manage to escape to France, where Ruth joins an underground movement and takes on a false identity and name – Renee. As an underground fighter, she participates in several operations to save endangered Jews. When the Gestapo are on her tracks, she flees to Spain and eventually to Israel.

This story is heartbreaking, often brought me to tears, but it’s also very inspiring. It shows strength and courage, it shows how people can survive the unimaginable, and even try to help others when the world seems to have sunken into chaos and despair. It shows hope, that lives on when everything else has left already. It shows humanity’s triumph over evil. If I read Ruth’s biography correctly, she has since passed away, and I’m very sorry to hear that, and give my condolences to her family. Reading this book, Ruth was truly an amazing person, the kind of person who makes this world a better place.


Book Review: Two Princes and a Queen

Title: Two Princes and a Queen
Author: Shmuel David
Genre: Memoirs, Historical
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Imagine having to flee for your life from the Nazis on a rundown river-boat!

Hanne is the teenaged son of a well-off Jewish family living a comfortable, sheltered life in Yugoslavia. In the face of persecution against Jews, Hanne and his parents joins a harrowing voyage down the Danube River, eventually meant to reach pre-State Israel. The passengers aboard the three creaking river-boats are constantly torn between hope and despair in their attempt to reach safety.

A dying father implores his son to uncover the truth about his past

On his death-bed, Hanne implores his son, Alan, to find out what became of his first love, Inge, whom he was forced to leave under tragic circumstances during the river journey. Alan becomes inexorably drawn to delving into the past. He pores over his father’s journals as well as other survivor diaries and letters, together with recorded interviews with Erica, the one survivor left in NYC, and learns the bitter truth contained in Inge’s death camp diary.

A devoted son discover a little-know story that must be shared

Bit by bit, Alan uncovers the horrendous story of the young lovers’ harrowing voyage down the Danube River along with Hundreds of other jews attempting to flee the Nazis for Israel in a historic fiasco that came to be called the Kladovo-Sabac Affair. While focusing on a touching love story, this historical novel also tells the ill-fated, real-life stories of other people who shaped the journey.

In Two Princes and a Queen, Shmuel David creates a touching love story about Hanne and Inge, two young lovers during the Holocaust who are forced to flee from prosecution. Hanne and his parents are forced on a voyage down the Danube River, meant to reach Israel, but the journey is far from easy. Meanwhile, Hanne falls in love with Inge, but is then forced to leave her under tragic circumstances during their journey across the river.

Years later, on his deathbed, Hanne implores his son, Alan, to uncover what happened to Inge all those years back. Alan, in the mean time, grows deeply involved in his father’s story, and the tragedy he went through. Set during some of history’s darkest times, the book sketches the characters and plot well, and creates an astonishing plot that moves swiftly yet touches deeply.

Fans of historical fiction set during the Holocaust should pick up this book and give it a shot.


Book Spotlight: Raven’s Feast

Raven’s Feast
by Eric Schumacher

Publication Date: May 1, 2017
eBook & Paperback

Series: Hakon’s Saga, Book 2
Genre: Fiction/Historical

Raven’s Feast is the sequel to God’s Hammer, the true story of Hakon Haraldsson and his quest to win and keep the High Seat of Viking Age Norway.

It is 935 A.D. and Hakon Haraldsson has just wrested the High Seat of the North from his ruthless brother, Erik Bloodaxe. Now, he must fight to keep it.

The land-hungry Danes are pressing from the south to test Hakon before he can solidify his rule. In the east, the Uplanders are making their own plans to seize the throne. It does not help that Hakon is committed to his dream of Christianizing his people – a dream his countrymen do not share and will fight to resist.

As his enemies move in and his realm begins to crumble, Hakon and his band of oath-sworn warriors must make a stand in Raven’s Feast, the riveting sequel to God’s Hammer.

“At its core, Raven’s Feast is more than a story about a young king holding firm to the power he has won in Viking Norway,” said Eric Schumacher, author of Raven’s Feast. “It is the story of a young man holding true to one’s self and convictions in the face of extreme challenges — something to which, I hope, many people can relate.”

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for God’s Hammer (Hakon’s Saga, Book 1)

“Eric Schumacher has created the most evocative tale in his stunning novel — God’s Hammer. This book completely drew me in. The research that has gone into God’s Hammer has to be commended, and it is incredibly rich in historical detail. It was as if I was looking through a window into the past as I read the pages of this remarkable story. Hakon’s portrayal is both realistic and believable. Schumacher has obviously researched the life of Hakon in great detail, and this certainly came through in the writing. Schumacher brought Hakon back to life. Well Done!” – Mary Yarde, the author of The Du Lac Chronicles

“Author Eric Schumacher put together a rousing story of warfare, religious strife and tested friendships.” – Mercedes Rochelle, author of Godwine Kingmaker and The Sons of Godwine

About the Author

Eric Schumacher was born in Los Angeles in 1968 and currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife, two children and dog. He is the author of two historical fiction novels, God’s Hammer and its sequel, Raven’s Feast. Both tell the story of the first Christian king of Viking Norway, Hakon Haraldsson, and his struggles to gain and hold the High Seat of his realm.

More information on Eric and his Hakon Sagas can be found on his website. You can also connect with Eric on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and AuthorsDB.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 1
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, August 3
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Friday, August 4
Spotlight at WS Momma Readers Nook

Monday, August 7
Interview at I Heart Reading

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at A Book Geek

Sunday, August 13
Review at Must Read Faster (God’s Hammer)

Wednesday, August 23
Review at Must Read Faster (Raven’s Feast)

Thursday, August 31
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather

Monday, September 4
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, September 14
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Sunday, September 17
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, September 20
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, September 25
Review at Mary’s Bookcase
Review at The True Book Addict


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed paperback copy of Raven’s Feast! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Raven’s Feast

Book Tour: The Babe Ruth Deception

Author Interview

  • How long have you been writing?

About 15 years ago, after a long time as a trial and appellate lawyer, I wanted to figure out how to write novels.  Three unsold manuscripts later, I moved on to writing narrative history, and published four books on American history with Simon and Schuster (starting with The Summer of 1787, about the creation of our Constitution).  But the fiction itch never went away.  I got to scratch it for good with The Lincoln Deception, a historical mystery about the John Wilkes Booth Conspiracy, which released in 2013.  The Babe Ruth Deception is the third in this series of mysteries.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

Whatever I’m working on in the moment.  I love writing fiction – having the characters come alive on the page, creating a story and imagining conversations (dialogue is the best).  But straight histories are fascinating, too.  I enjoy the puzzle of sorting out key moments in our convoluted and poorly documented past.  I have been working on two historical novels that I hope to find a home for soon, and am now researching a book on George Washington for Penguin Random House.

  • Please tell us about The Babe Ruth Deception.

Blending history with an imagined story, it begins with the Roaring Twenties, when America is bursting with both energy and corruption — bootleggers flout Prohibition while baseball heroes face scandal.  The central figure, Babe Ruth, has seized this boisterous new era by the scruff of its neck, becoming an instant legend by hitting more home runs for the New York Yankees in 1920 than any other team in the American League.  But the Babe pays a price for being larger than life on the field and off.  The gamblers who fixed the 1919 World Series in the “Black Sox Scandal” zero in on him . . . investigators are sniffing around the 1918 World Series, which Ruth won with the Boston Red Sox.  And the Babe has a secret.

With gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein turning up the heat, Ruth turns to Speed Cook, ex-ballplayer and now a promoter of Negro baseball, who can play the game rough or straight, depending on what’s needed.  Cook brings in help from Dr. Jamie Fraser, whose wife Eliza produces a silent movie starring the Babe, only to find that Cook’s son (a bootlegger) and Fraser’s daughter embroiled in an interracial romance that carries terrifying risks in sharply segregated America.

To protect Babe Ruth – and their love-besotted children – Cook and Fraser have to play a very dangerous game. . . .

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Nothing compares with the challenge of bringing to life a legend like Babe Ruth.  He was this prodigiously talented manchild: the best baseball player ever, yet barely educated, way too trusting, and a slave to his appetites (food, liquor, sex).  Yet he also was endlessly charming and surprisingly savvy about business.  The Babe often played the buffoon in public, yet no one becomes the best at anything without discipline, drive, and a sharp intelligence.  I loved trying to capture all of his many qualities.

As for my least favorite characters, I can’t say there was one.  Working out the villains is just as much fun — in this story, the gambler/gangster and former world flyweight champion Abe Attell gets the most air time as a heavy, and he was a hoot to figure out.

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

For me, it’s always the ending that’s the hardest.  The major story lines have to resolve in ways that are credible (no comets from outer space saving our heroes) yet are still surprising (“hey, I didn’t see THAT coming. . . “).

  • What is your writing routine?

I SO wish I had a writing routine.  Every day is different.  Should I go to the gym?  Do I have to do something for the online book review I founded (The Washington Independent Review of Books,  Or do I have a consulting gig that day, or am I giving a book talk?  There’s only one constant:  every day, I have to put in some work on the current book project.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

Endless!  Every sentence can be made better.  Or shorter.  Or punchier.  Or carry more of the story along more effectively.  One thing has changed over the years:  Now I try not to edit too much until I have a full draft, mostly to ensure that I don’t lose my forward momentum while fussing over a scene or a character or a paragraph.  But once I have the draft, I’ll go over and over it, then ask friends to take a look, then revise again after setting it aside for a while.  The final step involves reading it out loud to myself:  sometimes you hear a problem more readily than you notice it on the page, especially after you’ve edited that page a dozen times.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

The Babe Ruth Deception is the third in my Fraser-Cook series.  I have some ideas for what might happen next for my heroes, but for now I’m working on other projects.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Be brave.  Writing is terrifying.  You could write something really stupid, or wrong, or just plain shallow.  Do it anyway.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

For fun, to appreciate the Babe, and for a chance to dip into a fascinating era in the past.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

The first two mysteries in this series involved very serious matters – the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln (The Lincoln Deception) and the disastrous treaty that ended World War I (The Wilson Deception).  I wanted to write a story that was fun, and involved baseball!

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I have working drafts of two historical novels inspired by stories in my family.  The first explores the hardship and terrors of settling the Maine Coast in the 1750s and then becoming part of a new, revolutionary nation.  The second picks up the tale a century later, with a legendary Maine regiment during the Civil War and then the fresh challenges of moving West.

The Babe Ruth Deception
by David O. Stewart

Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Kensington Books
Hardcover & eBook; 304 Pages

Series: A Fraser and Cook Mystery (Book 3)
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mysteries/Baseball

As the Roaring Twenties get under way, corruption seems everywhere–from the bootleggers flouting Prohibition to the cherished heroes of the American Pastime now tarnished by scandal. Swept up in the maelstrom are Dr. Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook…

Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, is having a record-breaking season in his first year as a New York Yankee. In 1920, he will hit more home runs than any other team in the American League. Larger than life on the ball field and off, Ruth is about to discover what the Chicago White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series are learning–baseball heroes are not invulnerable to scandal. With suspicion in the air, Ruth’s 1918 World Series win for the Boston Red Sox is now being questioned. Under scrutiny by the new baseball commissioner and enmeshed with gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein, Ruth turns for help to Speed Cook–a former professional ballplayer himself before the game was segregated and now a promoter of Negro baseball–who’s familiar with the dirty underside of the sport.

Cook in turn enlists the help of Dr. Jamie Fraser, whose wife Eliza is coproducing a silent film starring the Yankee outfielder. Restraint does not come easily to the reckless Ruth, but the Frasers try to keep him in line while Cook digs around.

As all this plays out, Cook’s son Joshua and Fraser’s daughter Violet are brought together by a shocking tragedy. But an interracial relationship in 1920 feels as dangerous as a public scandal–even more so because Joshua is heavily involved in bootlegging. Trying to protect Ruth and their own children, Fraser and Cook find themselves playing a dangerous game.

Once again masterfully blending fact and fiction, David O. Stewart delivers a nail-biting historical mystery that captures an era unlike any America has seen before or since in all its moral complexity and dizzying excitement.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Praise for The Babe Ruth Deception

“Having mastered the craft of writing novels that feature Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson, David O. Stewart has now chosen someone who is perfect for the genre. Babe Ruth was as mythic as a person gets, and the author has surrounded The Babe with a Prohibition cast of bootleggers, gangsters and thugs, giving us a fine yarn that mixes and matches the grand glories of The National Pastime with the nefarious foibles of human nature.” –Frank Deford, Sportswriter and Bestselling Novelist

“This is so much more than a baseball book. There’s a lot of the Babe, but it’s a history book, a mystery book, a complex book that beautifully details an era in America. I loved it!” –Tim Kurkjian, ESPN Baseball Contributor and Author

“[The Babe Ruth Deception] cleverly mixes real-life people and historical events. The problems of the unlikely sleuths will particularly appeal to baseball fans.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A rollicking real-life figure leads to a rollicking fictional romp. The allure of the Babe may bring you into this book; David O. Stewart’s lively tale will keep you there.” –Kostya Kennedy

“Well-written novels that blend fact and fiction always get my attention, and if it’s Babe Ruth and characters from his era, I’m in. David O. Stewart reminds us of why the ‘20s roared, and how much fun the Babe was. A delight!” –Marty Appel, author of Pinstripe Empire

“David O. Stewart, the master of fictional historic deceptions, has hit one out of the park with The Babe Ruth Deception. Not only is it most cleverly plotted but gives us a feel for the corrupt and colorful Era of Prohibition when Babe Ruth was at his most beloved despite – or because of – his off-the-field flaws and excesses.” –Paul Dickson author of Leo Durocher – Baseball’s Prodigal Son

About the Author

David O. Stewart, formerly a lawyer, writes fiction and history. His first historical work told the story of the writing of the Constitution (“The Summer of 1787”). It was a Washington Post Bestseller and won the Washington Writing Prize for Best Book of 2007. His second book (“Impeached”), grew from a judicial impeachment trial he defended before the United States Senate in 1989. “American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America” explored Burr’s astounding Western expedition of 1805-07 and his treason trial before Chief Justice John Marshall. “Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America” debuted in February 2015. He has received the 2013 History Award of the Society of the Cincinnati and the 2016 William Prescott Award for History Writing from the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.

Stewart’s fiction career began with the release of “The Lincoln Deception,” an historical novel exploring the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy. “The Wilson Deception,” the sequel, is set at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. “The Babe Ruth Deception” occurs during the Babe’s first two years with the Yankees while he remade baseball and America began the modern era with Prohibition, bootlegging, and terrrorism.

Stewart lives with his wife in Maryland. Visit his website at

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 27
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, June 28
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Thursday, June 29
Interview at I Heart Reading

Friday, June 30
Spotlight at A Holland Reads

Sunday, July 2
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, July 3
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, July 4
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, July 6
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Friday, July 7
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, July 10
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, July 11
Review at Laura’s Interests

Wednesday, July 12
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, July 19
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Friday, July 21
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Wednesday, July 26
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Thursday, July 27
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of The Babe Ruth Deception! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Babe Ruth Deception

Boook Review: Courage and Grace by Yoseph Komen

Title: Courage and Grace
Author: Yoseph Komen
Genre: Historical, Memoir, Nonfiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A family’s unbelievable survival in the face of the Holocaust

Yoseph and Itzhak Komem are two young Jewish brothers hiding under fake Catholic identities in the Aryan side of a Polish town during the Holocaust. Their fascinating testimonies are brought together with those of their deaf father, their mother, and others, to convey their life stories and their unbelievable escape from the Nazis.

You’ll read this amazing literary, historical, and biographical document with bated breath

The novel weaves an unbelievable mix of everyday and nightmarish reality, between the ghetto and outside of it, colorfully portraying the struggle to survive on the rear lines of a war between the Wehrmacht and the Red Army. The memories conclude with the period of life after liberation: in the Polish People’s Republic, in an orphanage in France, in a boarding school in England, and in the Land of Israel.

A drama of tragedy and rescue, dare, courage, and grace

Courage and Grace offers a unique memoir of the Second World War, written in the form of a polyphony— a chorus of voices that reverberate with each other, highlighting their differences in experience and points of view. The author recreates a gripping and suspenseful mosaic of daring escapes, concealments, and acts of valor, portraying the struggle for survival in the face of a living nightmare.

Courage and Grace tells the story of Yoseph and Itzhak Komen, two young Jewish brothers hiding under fake Catholic identities in the Aryan side of a Polish town during the Holocaust. This book tells their fascinating testimonies, but also the true accounts of their parents and others who had to hide from the Nazis. And also life after the Liberation: in an orphanage, in a boarding school, and eventually settling down in Israel.

This is an unique memoir, deeply touching, moving, thought-provoking, told by various different voices who together wave an intriguing tale of courage and grace, of survival in the face of perilous odds, of never giving up. Each time I read a book about the Holocaust, my heart breaks, seeing so much innocence shattered, so much hatred and despair. Yet, these books also give me hope and courage, because humanity is strong, and humans don’t break easily, and despite going through horrors, people manage to find their humanity again.

This book is strong and powerful, and reading about the young boys’ struggle to survive was heartbreaking. Despite that, it deserves to be read and reflected upon, so we remember the atrocities of war and continue fighting for a better world, a peaceful world, where fights are settled with diplomacy and compromises rather than taking up arms.

Book Blast: Traitor’s Knot

Traitor’s Knot
by Cryssa Bazos

Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Endeavor Press
eBook; 394 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical

England 1650: Civil War has given way to an uneasy peace in the year since Parliament executed King Charles I.

Royalist officer James Hart refuses to accept the tyranny of the new government, and to raise funds for the restoration of the king’s son, he takes to the road as a highwayman.

Elizabeth Seton has long been shunned for being a traitor’s daughter. In the midst of the new order, she risks her life by sheltering fugitives from Parliament in a garrison town. But her attempts to rebuild her life are threatened, first by her own sense of injustice, then by falling in love with the dashing Hart.

The lovers’ loyalty is tested through war, defeat and separation. James must fight his way back to the woman he loves, while Elizabeth will do anything to save him, even if it means sacrificing herself.

Traitor’s Knot is a sweeping tale of love and conflicted loyalties set against the turmoil of the English Civil War.

“A hugely satisfying read that will appeal to historical fiction fans who demand authenticity, and who enjoy a combination of suspense, action, and a very believable love story.” – Elizabeth St. John, author of The Lady of the Tower

“A thrilling historical adventure expertly told.” – Carol McGrath, author of The Handfasted Wife

Traitor’s Knot is available in eBook from Amazon

About the Author

Cryssa Bazos is a historical fiction writer and 17th Century enthusiast, with a particular interest in the English Civil War (ECW). She blogs about English history and storytelling at her blog, the 17th Century Enthusiast, and is an editor of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog site.

Cryssa’s debut novel, Traitor’s Knot, a romantic tale of adventure set during the English Civil War. Traitor’s Knot is the first in a series of adventures spanning from the ECW to the Restoration and is now available from Endeavour Press.

For more information visit Cryssa’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Wednesday, May 31
Passages to the Past

Thursday, June 1
A Bookaholic Swede

Friday, June 2
The Writing Desk

Monday, June 5
Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, June 6
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, June 8
So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, June 9
I Heart Reading

Monday, June 12
What Is That Book About

Tuesday, June 13
Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, June 14
The True Book Addict

Thursday, June 15
A Holland Reads

Sunday, June 18
Ageless Pages Reviews

Monday, June 19
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots (with excerpt)

Tuesday, June 20
A Literary Vacation
To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednesday, June 21
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, June 22
CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, June 23
Book Nerd

Book Review: I Love You My Child, I’m Abandoning You

Title: I Love You My Child, I’m Abandoning You
Author: Ariela Palacz
Genre: Hisotrical Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

An exciting human documentary taking place in France during the Holocaust

Little Paulette is an excellent pupil, surrounded by a loving family. But one day she is suddenly forced to confront the cruel reality of the Holocaust, together with the rest of French Jewry. Paulette is forced to separate from her family, and as a result, abandoned by her father. But despite her difficult and shocking life experiences, she remains naïve and optimistic, holding on to her thirst for life even in the darkest hours.

An authentic and moving life story

I Love You My Child, I’m Abandoning You is an exciting human documentary, taking place in France during the Holocaust. It honors the memory of the French Jews who perished in the Second World War, while simultaneously giving voice the persistent will to live, and the strength and bravery that characterize those who survived and gave rise to the future generations of the Jewish people.

An existential odyssey that puts a spotlight on the human need and right to belong

Ariela Palacz shares her life story through the character of little Paulette Szenker, sensitively weaving past and present into an authentic and moving journey that shifts between WWII France and contemporary Jerusalem. A story about the human spirit and the thirst for a family, a tradition, and a nation, that will touch your heart.

I Love You My Child, I’m Abandoning You is a novel by Ariela Palacz that is set during the Holocaust, in France. Paulette is an excellent pupil surrounded by a loving family. But when the cruel reality of the Holocaust catches up with her and her reltives, she’s forced to seperate from her family, and abandoned by her father. While going through some life-altering experiences, Paulette stays naïve and optimistic, even at the darkest of times.

This book is heartbreaking. Most of the books about the Holocaust are, but this one in particular made me extremely sad and angry. The pacing was a little slow, but that suited the book. The story took time to develop, but the reader needs that time to get to know Paulette and her ordinary life, before the horrible seperation and before tragedy begins.

That the book is based on true events makes it all the more horrible, and makes it an even more emotional read. Don’t expect a happy story.