Saturday, May 19, 2018

Stacking The Shelves: May 19, 2018

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.

Bought:
I haven't read it yet but I'm so glad I finally got my hands on it! Also, this might be my favorite cover out of them all.

Won:
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
I won this book from Olivia @ The Candid Cover and I can't wait to read it. I hope I'll end up loving it because this book sounds amazing!

Bought:
Clash of Empires by Ben Kane
I was super surprised that my order of this book already was in my mailbox yesterday. It only arrived in 3 days from the book depository and it usually takes 10-14 days so I'm not sure what happened but oh I am so glad! 

Bought:
Tardis Magnetic Bookmark
from Hello Papers Co
I've wanted a magnetic Tardis bookmark for ages but didn't realize Hello Papers Co had one on her Etsy store. When I found out I ordered it right away. I love it so much!

Bought: 
Naughty Desires by Sarah Castille
Piece of Work by Staci Hart


For Review:
Breakaway by Michelle Diener
The Isle of Gold by Seven Jane




Don't forget to enter my giveaway that I'm hosting to win a book of choice from TBD. 2 winners, open INTL — Click here

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review: Twilight Empress by Faith L. Justice

Title: Twilight Empress
Author: Faith L. Justice

Publication: May 8th 2017 by Raggedy Moon Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | iBooksKobo | Smashwords

Rating: 4/5

One woman battles the coming Dark Ages. "Twilight Empress" tells the little-known story of a remarkable woman: Placidia, sister to one of the last Roman Emperors. Roman Empress and Gothic Queen, Placidia does the unthinkable: she rules the failing Western Roman Empire. A life of ambition, power, and intrigue she doesn't seek, but can't refuse, her actions shape the face of Western Europe for centuries. A woman as well as an empress, Placidia suffers love, loss, and betrayal. Can her intelligence, tenacity, and ambition help her survive and triumph over scheming generals, rebellious children, and Attila the Hun?


If there's a type of story I like more than anything it's books about little-known and strong women from history. As someone who's a self-proclaimed history geek I always jump on the chance to read books like this. That's why I loved Twilight Empress so much, along with several other reasons I will state below. It's also been a long time since I stayed up late to finish a book, which is what I did with this one. I just couldn't stop reading and had this intense need to know how it all would end. 

Twilight Empress takes place in the 5th century in the Western Roman Empire that is declining steadily and Placidia is the sister to one of the last Roman Emperors, Honorius. The story starts with her having to flee and getting taken hostage by Alaric, king of the Visigoths who successfully sacked Rome. I can sincerely say I was hooked right from the very first page. The story and the character of Placidia as well as several of the side characters fascinated me so much. It was hard to put the book down because I didn't want to stop reading. 

What captivated me the most, though, was the writing. I loved the lush descriptions because they made me really feel as if I was in the Late Antiquity that the story takes place in. That's honestly all I want from a story, especially when it's historical fiction. As for secondary characters, I loved so many of them. I absolutely loved Placidia's first husband Ataulf (who was also king of the Visigoths), Lucilla, Sigisvult... so there was definitely no lack of great characters to get invested in and rooting for.

There were so many various themes in this book that I almost couldn't keep track of them. There's love, revenge, loss, obligation and so on. Placidia felt it all so very deeply and changed immensely from the beginning of the book until the very end. The tragedies she experienced throughout her life were extremely sad but they also gave her the purpose to go on. I must admit that I didn't always liked her as a person but that's why her character developement was remarkably on point in that area, which is something that I think is very important in any book. The author did that very nicely.  

As always I would highly recommend any future readers of this book to read the author's note because she goes more into how historically accurate the story actually was (I think she did well in that area) and how she shaped the story. She mentions in it that she fell in love with the Theodosian women: Placidia, Pulcheria and Athenais. Those last two were also characters in this book. I can say that I feel the same now because I just want to research them and learn everything there is to know about them. Overall, I really enjoyed Twilight Empress and can't wait to read more books by Faith L. Justice. I want to read them all!

Author bio:
Faith L. Justice writes award-winning novels, short stories and articles published in venues such as Salon.com, Writer's Digest, and The Copperfield Review. A varied life provides the staples for Faith's stories. Day jobs included lifeguard, paralegal, computer systems analyst, human resources executive, college professor, and freelance writer. Travel and research provides the spice. She haunted the leading museums of Europe, tramped the streets of ancient ruins, and volunteered at archaeological sites. Currently, Faith writes in her historic home "The Suffragette House" in Brooklyn, New York where she lives with her family and cats. Sample her stories and books, check out her blog, find out where she travels next, or ask Faith a question at her website: www.faithljustice.com.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Isle of Gold by Seven Jane

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.



The Isle of Gold by Seven Jane
Expected publication: October 9th 2018 by Black Spot Books

Mystery, Myth & Magic Meet in an Epic Adventure of Two Women Lost at Sea—
and the Secret that Binds Them Together

AN ORPHAN DISGUISED AS A PIRATE SETS SAIL FOR A MYSTICAL ISLAND IN HOPES OF UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF HER PAST

The year is 1716—the Golden Age of Pirates. An orphan who sleeps in the dusty kitchens of a quayside brothel, Merrin Smith is desperate to unravel the secrets of her past and find the truth about the events that brought her to the Caribbean island of Isla Perla as a child. Disguised as a sailor, and with the help of her longtime friend Claudette, Merrin joins the crew of the pirate ship Riptide, helmed by the notorious Captain Erik Winters. Tenacious and rumored a madman, Winters is known as much for his ruthlessness as for his connection to the enigmatic and beautiful proprietress of the Goodnight Mermaid, Evangeline Dahl, who vanished from Isla Perla two summers before.

At sunset the Riptide sails for the mythical island of Bracile, a place hidden between air and sea and that exists only for a moment every two years, and which has never returned any man who has sailed for its shores. The journey will be perilous and long, and it will take Merrin far away from the only home she’s ever known. Because she can read, Merrin will serve as the Captain’s apprentice, deciphering old texts for clues to the island’s whereabouts as the ship sails through haunted, frozen waters and into the very heart of the ocean. As she struggles to navigate the rough, seafaring life aboard a pirate ship, Merrin must keep her identity hidden from the scrupulous gaze of not only Captain Winters, but also Mister Brandon Dunn, the ship’s surly, legend-spouting quartermaster, and Tom Birch, the charming boatswain Merrin can’t help but feel drawn to.

As the Riptide makes its way to Bracile, Merrin begins to suspect that the men she has worked so hard to deceive may in fact be more connected to her than she would have imagined, and that perhaps her own past might have more to do with the Dunn’s legends and myths than she ever could have guessed.

In The Isle of Gold [Black Spot Books, October 9, 2018] Merrin Smith must face perilous waters, cursed sea goddesses, and the embodiments of some of the ocean’s most terrifying legends as she not only struggles to survive her journey, but to find the answers to the mysteries of her past.

A story where history meets fantasy, The Isle of Gold is an epic, emotional adventure of two women—one desperate to save herself, and the other determined to be rescued—and the secret which binds them together.

“For as long as men have sailed the ocean, they have told stories about the sea,” says Jane. “It’s a place of mystery, myth, and magic—and this makes The Isle of Gold a perfect setting for an epic adventure that is not only a tale of historical fiction, but of the very evolution of a woman’s spirit as she seeks to find herself in a world of unpredictability and uncertainty.”

“There is an old saying that ‘the cure for anything is saltwater—tears, sweat, or the sea.’ In The Isle of Gold, Merrin’s journey requires all three.”

I just stumbled upon this new upcoming book the other day and it just sounds incredible! Not only is the cover absolutely gorgeous I also love that it's a story where history meets fantasy. It sounds like it could be right up my alley!



And don't forget to enter my giveaway that I'm hosting to win a book of choice from TBD. 2 winners, open INTL — Click here

Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: Eagles in the Storm by Ben Kane

Title: Eagles in the Storm
Author: Ben Kane
Series: Eagles of Rome #3
Publication: March 23rd 2017 by Preface Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 5/5

Arminius has been defeated, one of the three eagles has been recovered, and thousands of German tribesmen slain.

Yet these successes aren’t nearly enough for senior centurion Lucius Tullus. Not until Arminius is dead, his old legion’s eagle liberated and the enemy tribes completely vanquished will he rest.

But Arminius is still at large, devious, fearless and burning for revenge of his own. Charismatic as ever, he raises another large tribal army, which will harry the Romans the length and breadth of the land.

Into this cauldron of bloodshed, danger and treachery, Tullus must go - alone. His mission – to find and bring back his legion’s eagle – will place him in more danger than he has ever faced before.

Can he succeed? Can he even survive?

It's not often that I rate a trilogy with five stars for all three books, but with Ben Kane's Eagles of Rome trilogy I did it and it's so well deserved!

Eagles in the Storm was a fantastic conclusion. I could barely put the book down, it was so thrilling and as always well-written. It was also heart-wrenching at times I must say.

The story returns with its great cast of characters like Tullus, Armenis, Maelo, Piso and several others.Tullus is still holding hope after so many years to find the lost eagle of the 18th and revenge on Arminius. Meanwhile Arminius is desperate to lead his people and the other tribes into battle against the Romans.

The book had its fair share of battles. It was all very action-packed and as always really brutal. The author's way of writing not only the battle scenes but every other detail made me feel as if I was actually there. I also can't help but praise the subtle humor as well.

The story was amazing and I thought the ending was pretty much perfect but some characters' deaths basically punched me in the gut. The unexpectedness of that made it even a more powerful ending of my one of my favorite trilogies.

Author bio: Ben Kane is a bestselling Roman author and former veterinarian. He was born in Kenya and grew up in Ireland (where his parents are from). He has traveled widely and is a lifelong student of military history in general, and Roman history in particular. He lives in North Somerset, England, with his family. Read his full bio here.
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Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Beginnings | The Friday 56: Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray

              Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader

Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. 

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice

Grab a book, any book. Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader. Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) and post it.
~~


     Book Beginning:

December 40 B.C.
They came from Memphis, Thebes, and Heliopolis to see the Savior born.

    Friday 56:

"Come, Selene, play your kithara for me today," the emperor said. "It will cheer you up, and I know you want to please me. That much was true. The night I'd forsaken Euphronius, I made pleasing the emperor my only choice.

Lily of the Nile is a novel about Cleopatra's daughter Selene and I'm loving it so far. I've read a book about Selene before that I also enjoyed but this one already is different for sure but even better than the one I read before. I personally really like the beginning of the book. It's a strong start. And I'm not actually yet at 56% so that short quote kind of makes me freak out so I'll just have to read on, I guess.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers...

To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?




And don't forget to enter my giveaway that I'm hosting to win a book of choice from TBD. 2 winners, open INTL — Click here