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text 2017-07-12 21:01
Exciting July Releases That Are On My TBR
A Paris All Your Own: Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light - Eleanor Brown
A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England) - Roseanna M. White
The Diplomat's Daughter: A Novel - Karin Tanabe
Where the Light Falls: A Novel of the French Revolution - Owen Pataki,Allison Pataki
Seducing Abby Rhodes - J.D. Mason
Edward VII: The Prince of Wales and the Women He Loved - Catharine Arnold
The One I've Waited For (The Crystal Series) - Mary B. Morrison
The Cartel 7: Illuminati: Roundtable of Bosses - Ashley and JaQuavis,JaQuavis Coleman
The Truth We Bury: A Novel - Barbara Taylor Sissel

I finished only one book in June. I was quite shocked. I've started many and am hopeful that July will be a better month for reading. I've been out of sorts personally and physically. However, this list of books are right up my street and I'm sure are going to be awesome reads. I'm revisiting favorite authors and genres.

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review 2016-11-13 00:00
Josey Wales: Two Westerns
Josey Wales: Two Westerns - Forrest Cart... Josey Wales: Two Westerns - Forrest Carter You can't really read this book without imagining Clint Eastwood as the title character.
In the first book, it tells how Josey Wales became a guerilla fighter in the Border Wars after the Union killed his family.
After the war, the rest of his group head off, lured by talk of amnesty but he can't give up that easily.
He keeps fighting for what he thinks is right, as the price on his head grows bigger. He makes friends along the way, forming his own band of "kin".
Like most good leaders, he inspires those around him to be more than they think they are, and he will put himself in danger first to protect them.

The second book sees one of his friends taken prisoner by Spanish/Mexican rurales, so he gives up the life he's made and heads off to rescue him.
Again, he pulls in unlikely allies as he fights against the odds for one person.

Both books are action packed, violent when they need to be, peopled with well written characters, although a bit heavy on the "civilised people bad, downtrodden people good" message.
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url 2016-08-03 18:00
Judith Barrow: Today with Tony Riches
Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony Riches
Jasper: Book Two of The Tudor Trilogy - Tony Riches

Introducing the authors who will be appearing at the Tenby Book Fair (part of the Tenby Arts Festival) in Tenby, South Pembrokshire, Wales, on September 24, 2016 (the festival runs through October 1).  Rats, now I really wish I could travel this year ...

 

Anyway, great interview!

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review 2016-06-15 06:14
The Past
The Past: A Novel - Tessa Hadley

Love the cover--if only the story were as strong.

 

As I read this novel, I felt such a sense of foreboding. Happy family, multiple generations, nosy neighbor, "the past", young lovers, missing dog, new wife, creepy cottage, old family home. What would go wrong? It felt creepy.

In the end, not so much. Nothing particularly unusual (well maybe a touch). Maybe I read the foreboding into it? Meh.

 

Actually, I think the cover introduces a bit of foreboding. Of the old, rundown, and overgrown cottage sort. Hmmm.

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review 2016-06-01 16:25
Falls the Shadow - Sharon Kay Penman

"Here Be Dragons" is probably my favorite Penman novel, with "Sunne in Splendour" it's only rival. "Falls the Shadow" and "The Reckoning" are the two other parts of Penman's "Welsh Princes" Trilogy and I avoided them for years based on the titles and knowledge of its contents alone. "Here Be Dragons" is a rarity among Penman's fiction--essentially a love story, one with a happy, if somewhat bittersweet ending. She makes you fall in love with medieval Wales in that book and knowing history--and seeing those titles, I was reluctant to read the tragic events that caused it to be swallowed by England.

Well, I'm glad I finally caught up with this one, even if it doesn't quite have the place in my heart of my top two favorites--thus four stars instead of five. t have just one more Penman book to read--the sequel to this one continuing the story of one of the characters, Llewelyn ap Gruffudd. So I think I can safely say that for all his flaws, Simon de Montfort, the central character of this book is Penman's most heroic, inspiring figure. Penman calls him in her afterward "Shakespearean" and she paints his virtues and his flaws vividly. Which at the end actually made it harder for me as I drew towards the end. It's not because of flaws in the writing or pacing--rather than the reverse. I know English history all too well, but if I hadn't--well, Penman does all to well in depicting the reasons Montfort was in for a fall. I also think she did better in her later Angevin series about Henry II and Eleanor of Acquitaine in showing a tension between antagonists so your sympathies were pulled in both directions. There's not much appealing here about Montfort's enemies, although from time to time she does make you feel a little sympathy for the hapless, utterly inept Henry III.

I'm both looking forward to and almost dreading reading "The Reckoning." After that one I won't have more Penman to read--only reread. And I doubt there's going to be a happy ending for any character--any historical figure--I care about. Certainly not for Wales. I do know one thing though after having read about a dozen Penman books--it'll be a great ride.

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