Book Review: Sleep my Valley by Ruth Netzer

Title: Sleep My Valley
Author: Ruth Netzer
Genre: Historical, Literary Fiction, Biographical
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Ruth is alone and desolate as her world falls apart

A lonely child on an Israeli kibbutz, Ruth watches painfully as her family falls apart. Her mother struggles with haunting memories of her troubled youth; her father succumbs to depression. When she is 15 her parents divorce and leave the kibbutz. Desolation follows Ruth to her new home.

Join Ruth as she struggles with the demons of her family’s secrets

Ruth must get to the bottom of her family’s harrowing story. Her lonely search for understanding becomes filled with poetry, literature, and dreams. Ruth looks deep within herself and creates a personal dialogue with God. She struggles for the strength to grapple with her parents’ demons, lest they become her own.

Courage, strength, spirituality, and healing in this moving family saga

Through haunting narrative and diary entries, join Ruth as she triumphs in her spiritual quest to come to terms with her family’s history. Share in the process of family analysis, as Ruth confronts her parents in their old age, eventually leading to repair and reconciliation.

In Sleep My Valley, Ruth feels extremely lonely as she watches her family fall apart. Her father is depressed, her mother is struggling with the memories of a troubled childhood.

Determined to get to the bottom of her family’s story, Ruth goes on a search for the truth, and on a search for her own inner strength on a spiritual journey to come to terms with her family’s history.

This book is haunting and mesmerizing, and I couldn’t put it down. Ruth’s story is beautiful and at times heartbreaking, but also very powerful. Not exactly the kind of book you should pick up if you just want to enjoy a quick and easy read, but one that has a powerful message that deserves to be shared.

Book Review: Young Harry: The Scroll of Spera (Refuge City Book 2)

Title: Young Harry: The Scroll of Spera (Refuge City Book 2)
Author: Amos Castel el Halili
Genre: Historical Fixction, Psychological, Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Can the brave able women — Mary, Zilpa, Constanze, Ayse and Spera — overcome desperate circumstances, bigotry, potentates and the conspiracies of privileged tycoons’?

In this thrilling psychological-historical suspense fantasy American, Ottoman, Armenian, Arab, and Jewish heroes are entangled in a web attempting to create an alternate reality. Can America overcome the Oil-Nordic-supremacy conspiracy? Can the USA sustain its leading position in high speed rail-based mobility? Can ex-southerners, Mary and Zilpa (an emancipated slave) manage to maintain “refugee integration hamlets” for women surviving persecution?

Will Young Harry, “salvage the house of Jacob?”

Mary’s bright son, a tormented soul, is crushed by his distant deviant father and elated by his African-American “brother.” The reader is captured in the continuous effort to search, discover, and reconcile the heroes’ unresolved, deviant identities. While Armenians and Christians are jihadised, Kurds and Arabs oppressed, and Jews banned from entering their ancestral land, will moderates survive to transform an Islam-centric empire into an egalitarian “United Ottoman States?”

Can endangered Armenians and Jews be saved in exterritorial refuge cities?

Spera, a Jewish teen, struggles to survive a soul-wrecking encounter with the ghost of her sister, raped and murdered by nationalist hoodlums, in a “prelude to the Holocaust” that took place during the Russian Civil War.

In this unique book about heroes from several different countries and cultures, an alternate reality is created, that is different from our own yet eerily similar. Wars, immigration, revoloution, racism, genocide, it’s all still there yet in a different setting, facing different people now.

The story is imaginative yet also filled with critique on the current world view and the way the world works nowadays, what it means to be brave, and some of the courageous decisions these people have to make.

A complex, unique yet compelling story about survival and courage.

 
 
Bewaren

Book Review: Fields of Gold Beneath Pairie Skies by Suzanne deMontigny

Title: Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies
Author: Suzanne deMontigny
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

French-Canadian soldier, Napoleon, proposes to Lea during WWI, promising golden fields of wheat as far as the eye can see. After the armistice, he sends money for her passage, and she journeys far from her family and the conveniences of a modern country to join him on a homestead in Saskatchewan. There, she works hard to build their dream of a prospering farm, clearing fields alongside her husband through several pregnancies and even after suffering a terrible loss. When the stock market crashes in ’29, the prairies are stricken by a long and abysmal drought. Thrown into poverty, she struggles to survive in a world where work is scarce, death is abundant, and hope dwindles. Will she and her family survive the Great Depression?

Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies tells the story of the author’s grandparents and their struggles during the grand depression. Frnech-Canadian soldier Napoleon proposes to the love of his life, Lea, during World War I. He promises her fields of gold (wheat) beneath the prairie skies – hence the title of the book. Lea believes him and journeys away from her family, away from modern conveniences, to join Napoleon on a homestead in Saskatchewan. Prairie life is not what Lea imagined it would be and although she works hard to build her dream of a prospering farm, life is far from fairytale-perfect. When the stock market crashes in ’29, the prairies are hit by a long, terrible drought, and Lea and her family are thrown into poverty. Can they survive the Great Depressoin?

God, life on the prairie put me through a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes I felt joy for the small victories Lea and her family had, and for the loving, caring moments they cherished. Sometimes I had to hold in my tears as I saw how tough life was for them, how impossible the odds seemed, how they had to deal with tragedy and loss.

The writing was excellent, and made the setting and characters come alive on the pages. I really felt as if I was transported back in time, as if this family became my own family during the duration of the book. Fans of historical novels should definitely pick up this book.

 

Giveaway

Sign up for Suzanne de Montigny’s mailing list and get a free copy of Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy.
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Book Blast The Soldier’s Return

The Soldier’s Return
by Laura Libricz

Publication Date: September 15, 2017
eBook & Paperback

Series: Heaven’s Pond Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction

The year is 1626. A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this lucrative business of war.

The young dutchman, Pieter van Diemen, returns to Amsterdam in chains after a period of imprisonment in the Spice Islands. He manages to escape but must leave Amsterdam in a hurry. Soldiers are in demand in Germany and he decides to travel with a regiment until he can desert. His hope of survival is to reach Sichardtshof, the farm in Franconia, Germany; the farm he left ten years ago. His desire to seek refuge with them lies in his fond memories of the maid Katarina and her master, the humanist patrician Herr Tucher. But ten years is a long time and the farm has changed. Franconia is not only torn by war but falling victim to a church-driven witch hunt. The Jesuit priest, Ralf, has his sights set on Sichardtshof as well. Ralf believes that ridding the area of evil will be his saving grace. Can Pieter, Katarina and Herr Tucher unite to fight against a senseless war out of control?

The Soldier’s Return is the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy and will be released on September 15, 2017.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

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

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 4
A Book Geek
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!

Tuesday, September 5
100 Pages a Day
The Reading Queen

Wednesday, September 6
Must Read Faster
Just One More Chapter

Thursday, September 7
The Writing Desk
The Maiden’s Court
To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, September 8
Book Nerd
CelticLady’s Reviews

Saturday, September 9
Passages to the Past
Books, Dreams, Life

Sunday, September 10
I Heart Reading

Monday, September 11
A Literary Vacation
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, September 12
Jo’s Book Blog
WS Momma Readers Nook

Wednesday, September 13
Laura’s Interests
Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, September 14
A Holland Reads
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, September 15
T’s Stuff
Pursuing Stacie

Book Spotlight: Raven’s Feast

Raven’s Feast
by Eric Schumacher

Publication Date: May 1, 2017
Creativia
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

Giveaway

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 Tours: Starter Day Party Scent of the Past

I’m hosting the book tour today for the tour for historical fiction “The Scent of the Past”. The tour runs from July 17 to August 17. Stay tuned for my review on August 1!

Tour Schedule

July 17th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

July 17th: Promo Post @ Stormy Night Reviewing

July 18th: Book Excerpt @ Books, Dreams, Life

July 19th:  Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

July 21st: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Mythical Books

July 22nd:  Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

July 23rd: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Silver Dagger Scriptorium

July 25th:  Promo Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

July 27th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

July 29th: Book Review and Giveaway @ The Bibliophagist

July 31st: Promo Post @ Bookish Madness

August 1st: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading

August 3rd: Book Excerpt @ Books are Forever

August 5th: Book Review @ Crazy KALM

August 7th: Promo Post @ Maari Loves Her Indies

August 9th: Book Excerpt @ Bedazzled Reading

August 11th: Book Review and Giveaway @ RimpyReads

August 13th: Book Excerpt @ The Resistance

August 14th:  Author Interview and Giveaway @ Majanka’s Blog

August 15th: Promo Post @ Lisa Queen of Random

August 17th: Book Review @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

About the Book

Title: Scent of the Past

Author: Erin Marie Bernardo

Genre: Historical Fiction

Scent of the Past by Erin Marie Bernardo
A secret diary. A forgotten past. Another time.

​​
When people think of time travel, they think of the clichéd manufactured kind. Of giant electronic machines with flashing lights and buttons calibrated to shoot you into the past with one press. But it doesn’t work that way. You need a reason, a connection, and—most important—a link. But you can’t choose when and why you go. That would be too easy, and we’d all be snapping our fingers in hopes of seeing lost treasures of yesteryear. It must choose you.
Close cousins Addison and Elissa live in present day New York City and lead somewhat ordinary lives. When uncertain circumstances surrounding a set of antique perfume bottles sends them back to eighteenth-century France, they must uncover the truth behind their travel.

Disaster strikes when Addison finds herself in a nearly identical situation to a mishap she experienced in the present—the witnessing of a murder and release of a secret. Only this time the truth could destroy the entire French monarchy. With Addison’s head on the line, the young women search for answers before Addison suffers her unlucky fate twice. It is only when they discover the haunting connections to life in the present, that they understand why they both were sent, and why a repeating past…may not always be such a bad thing.

Author Bio

Erin Marie Bernardo is an American writer of historical fiction. She has a degree in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota, and is the author of the time-travel novel, Scent of the Past. A lover of historic places, Erin’s novels connect the past with the present.

Erin is currently at work on her second novel, Blackbird’s Bounty, set in the bayou of Louisiana – and is actively seeking a home for her children’s collection, Beautiful and Extraordinary Barnyard Stories, based on true events from on her farm.

Erin lives in Tennessee, but has roots in both Minnesota and Washington State. She is married with two young children.

Links

Website: www.erinmariebernardo.com
Amazon

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.

Book Review: The Kingdom by Amir Or

Title: The Kingdom
Author: Amir Or
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Encounter King David – a man of many secrets who wishes to reveal all…
David’s official history already appears in the Bible, but he wishes the “true story” of his life to be known. The Kingdom portrays King David as a real flesh and blood man: ambitious renegade and strategist, boundless lover, tormented father, politician, poet, and despot.
Power, passion, love, and adventure in a remarkable rendering of the biblical story
It’s the 11th century BC, and David struggles to establish a Hebrew empire in what had been the Canaanite lands. Gods, men, kings, women, and heroes are thrown into a whirlpool of passion, adventure, and the struggle for power.
Search your soul through this biting satire on contemporary reality
Not only a historical novel, The Kingdom is also a satire on contemporary reality with a critical view of the Jewish national story. It offers a stinging inditement of modern Israeli politics.

Most of us know the story of King David from the Bible but author Amir Or gives the story an original spin in this book, The Kingdom,  by portraying David as a flesh and blood man, with far more flaws than the biblical version has. He’s ambitious, he struggles as a father, he writes poetry, he’s ruthless in politics. He’s a man who appears as real as any other. You don’t want to stick to the bible version too much though, or you might be offended by the liberties the book takes.

However, if you get past that, it’s really an interesting story with a critical element in the form of satire on contemporary reality of modern Israeli politics. I also liked that element, how the history part of the book tied in with the contemporary, which proves that we keep on making the same mistakes as we did in the past (we as the entire human race) and that maybe we haven’t learned as much as we thought we had in the past two millennia.

I really enjoyed the story and would recommend it to fans of historical fiction with a thick skin who don’t mind the author having taking certain liberties with this biblical character.

Book Review: No Medals Today by Shlomi Tal

Title: No Medals Today
Author: Shlomi Tal
Genre: Military, Thrillers
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Save your county, s’il-vous-plait

Yiftach Cohen is a junior diplomat at the Israeli Embassy in Paris. He spends his days dealing with mundane problems and juggling his boring job, his ordinary family life, and his French lover, Chantal. Until one day, everything changes.

In October 1973, with the break of the Yom Kippur war, Yiftach suddenly becomes a central figure in an international network of smuggling and fraud. He’s responsible to provide the Israeli Defense Force with the means to survive and win the war. Now, a chain of dark trafficking relies on his abilities to make the French authorities look the other way.

Behind the scenes of Israel’s untold diplomatic actions

Wild circumstances transform the rigid and cautious Yiftach into a winner-takes–all hero who’ll do anything for the sake of his homeland and his people.

He’ll even kill.

A heart-racing thriller based on a true story

The State of Israel gives no medals. But it provides Yiftach with a rare opportunity to rediscover himself, and the chance to take control of his life, his loves and his choices.

In No Medals Today, Yiftach Cohen, a junior diplomat for the Israeli Embassy in Paris thinks his life is pretty boring. His family life is ordinary, his job is boring,… But then, everything changes when the Yom Kippur war breaks out in October 1973. Yiftach becomes a central digure in an international network of smuggling and fraud, and becomes responsibile to provide the Israeli Defense Force with the means to survive… and to win a war. Now, this underground trafficking relies mostly on one thing: his ability to make the French authorities look the other way.

I loved the international aspect of the book as it combined French customs and Yiftach’s dealings with the French authorities with the situation in his homeland, Israel. The Yom Kippur war I had heard of, of course, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a book focused on this time period. The characters were well-written and easy to relate to, in particular Yiftach.

The author did a solid job on the history aspect of the book, and on portraying the characters as rounded and three-dimensional. The tension was high from the start of the book, and I had to stop myself from biting my nails as the suspense got even higher toward the end. For fans of historical thrillers and spy novels.

Book Review: From the Nile to the Jordan

Title: From The Nile to the Jordan
Author: Ada Aharoni
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

An astonishing historical period relived through a dramatic love story

From the Nile to the Jordan is a compelling and colorful historical novel that captures mid-twentieth century Egypt and Israel in marvelous detail. The novel tells the tragic events of the “Second Exodus” – the uprooting of the Jewish community from Egypt following the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948. By so doing, it brings an aspect of the Arab-Israeli Conflict that has not been touched upon: the forced emigration of Jews from Arab countries, aptly coined by Ada Aharoni – THE SECOND EXODUS.

A story never told before

Inbar is the beautiful daughter of a rich judge, member of Cairo’s Jewish community. When an historical storm threatens to destroy her future and that of her lover, a Holocaust survivor named Raoul, she sets out to Israel, in a passionate quest for love and fulfillment.

Based on true historical facts

Ada Aharoni weaves an astonishing and authentic historical period into a dramatic love story, written in powerful and moving prose. The result is an important and unique novel, based on historical facts, which creates an exciting, delightful and unforgettable feast for the readers, for history, and for world literature.

From the Nile to Jordan tells the event of the “Second Exodus”, the uprooting of the Jewish community from Egypt following the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948. Jews were forced to emigrate from Arab countries and had to go live in Israel, which was a part of the Arab-Israeli conflict I certainly had never heard about. I thought people had emigrated to Israel out of their own free will, but I had no idea the exodus was forced.
The story follows Inbar, the beautiful daughter of a rich judge. She’s jewish, and so is her lover, Raoul, a survivor of the Holocaust. Inbar and Raoul set out to Israel, and hope to find the love and peace they’re looking for there.
The novel is based on historical facts, and it’s set in a time period I for one knew little to nothing about. The story flows well, and the author obviously did her research and knows this time period well. The settings are described in tremendous detail, and the characters feel realistic.
This is a compelling, astonishing historical fiction novel that details a time period not often discussed in historical fiction.