Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Spotlight! The Assassin - Pamela Dumond


The Assassin by Pamela DuMond
(Mortal Beloved, #2)
Publication date: July 5th 2015
Genres: Time-Travel, Young Adult

Time Traveler. Messenger. Beloved. Spy.

“I was a Messenger: I kept the memory of all our encounters, our lives, like a locket that brushes the skin and bones covering my heart. But Samuel was a Healer: he didn’t time travel. His kind lived, died, re-incarnated, and he didn’t retain memories from his past lives. Every year I landed in required starting our relationship over: from ashes, from scrap… Every place I journeyed had beauty as well as darkness; all my time-travels were bittersweet.” ~ Madeline.

Madeline’s a Messenger: time traveling across lifetimes and delivering messages that could change one life or many. When she discovers that her true love, Samuel, is alive in present day, but doesn’t remember her from their past, she journeys to a deadly royal conflict in medieval Portugal hoping to rekindle his memory. Mortal assassins as well as dark-souled time travelers seek to kill her. Will Madeline and Samuel be together again in life—or only in death?

THE SEEKER (Mortal Beloved, Book Three) publishes Winter 2015/2016.

“All the excitement of Outlander if it was a YA series.”

THE ASSASSIN IS the anticipated sequel to the YA Time Travel romantic thriller — THE MESSENGER.

The Messenger has been optioned for Film/TV.

The Assassin will be featured in Glamour UK Magazine September 2015 edition.


Purchase book 1 - The Messenger:


Pamela DuMond is the author who discovered Erin Brockovich’s life story, thought it would make a great movie and pitched it to ‘Hollywood’.

She writes romantic comedic mysteries, romantic YA time travel and New Adult romance.

Her book The Story of You and Me was a Quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakout Novel Award (ABNA) 2014 in Romance.

Cupcakes, Pies, and Hot Guys was a Quarterfinalist in ABNA 2013 in Mystery .

She’s addicted to TV shows — The Voice and Reign. The movies Love Actually and The Bourne trilogy (with Matt Damon — not that other actor guy,) make her cry ever time she watches them. (Like — a thousand.)

When she’s not writing Pamela’s also a chiropractor and cat wrangler. She loves reading, the beach, working out, movies, TV, animals, her family and friends. She lives in Venice, California with her fur-babies.

She likes her coffee strong, her cabernet hearty, her chocolate dark, her foods non-GMO and she lives for a good giggle.

Author links:

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Spotlight! Oktober Heat - Doris Dumrauf

02_Oktober HeatOktober Heat
by Doris Dumrauf

Publication Date: March 10, 2015
eBook & Paperback; 310 Pages
ISBN: 1507603452

Genre: Historical/Mystery/Romance

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In a 1958 West German village, twenty-one-year-old German police officer Walter Hofmann wants nothing more than to dance to the latest rock ‘n’ roll tunes at the nearby American air base. But the girls flock to the easy-going GIs, their dollars, and their fancy cars. Worse yet, the entire country—including his younger sister—is ecstatic about the recent arrival of Private Elvis Presley.

Old World values and New World pop culture clash, even before a young woman gets killed near the base and the military arrests Walter’s GI friend Jeff for murder. Walter believes in Jeff’s innocence, even after he learns that Jeff has won the heart of the girl he secretly adores. While Walter and his partner are on the trail of an elusive killer, his sister disappears in an attempt to see the famous singer and Walter races to her rescue before she becomes the next victim.



Walter was late again. His friend had already left by the time he arrived at Fritz’s house. And all because two neighbors could not decide who owned the apples from the tree that bordered their properties. It took Walter and his police partner Schlosser two hours to settle the dispute by extending the property line vertically, which put them well into overtime.

The concert was supposed to begin at eight o’clock. Walter rode his secondhand bicycle into the parking lot of the Enlisted Club, where his dynamo-powered light reflected off the chrome bumpers of the Chevrolets and Fords of the Americans. After backpedaling to brake and locking the front to the bike rack at the far end of the club, Walter bent and removed the cycle clips from his trousers. He brushed his pant legs until he was satisfied that they were not dusty anymore. Walter wanted to look his best just in case he met a girl tonight.

He whistled “All Shook Up” as he strolled toward the brightly lit entrance of the club. He walked by a group of GIs lingering under the red canopy, smoking and laughing with their friends, and opened the double door. Inside, he drew in the chatter of the boisterous crowd as if it was fresh air.

Ah, Saturday night! The long work week was over and he could finally enjoy himself like every other youth in the village. He made his way to the bar, where he paused to scan the crowd. As he had feared, he did not detect one empty chair.

The German emcee stepped to the microphone and spread his right arm to take in the stage. “Meine Damen und Herren! Ladies and gentlemen! Let’s welcome The Trotters, fresh from America, for their first concert at Lauterbach Air Base.”

Whistles pierced the smoke-filled club, causing Walter to erupt in appreciative laughter. He lifted his hands into the air and clapped until it hurt. The master of ceremonies stepped back while the maroon velvet curtain slowly revealed the band. Walter craned his neck to view the musicians. The four male singers wore matching white jackets that glittered silvery in the dimmed light, accentuating their ebony skin.

The oldest of the three bartenders, dressed in a white shirt and a thin tie, placed a cardboard coaster in front of Walter. “Good evening, Herr Hofmann,” he said. “What can I bring you?”

“I’ll have a Parkbräu.” Walter began to sway his upper body to the tune of “She’s All Yours.” After the applause faded away, he gazed across the room again, searching for acquaintances. Where might his friends be? Perhaps he would have better luck waiting for them to step up to the bar instead of trying to find them in the crowd. He put his bottle on the counter and rested his shoulders against the bar. A young German woman sat on the barstool closest to him. Her curly brown hair framed an oval face with lively, amber-colored eyes. Walter cleared his throat and stood up erect. It was now or never.

He leaned toward the young woman and said, “Good evening. It’s a nice crowd tonight, isn’t it?”

She gave him an indifferent look and sat flatly, “Yes, it is.”

Her mouth formed a wide smile as she waved at someone behind him. He glanced over his shoulder to see a GI in civilian clothes approach her.

“Hello,” the American said, taking her hands in his. She rose to dance with him and Walter plunked down on the vacant barstool. He smacked his fist on the counter. Was he never going to find a girl? Just what did this lanky fellow, with his crew cut and clean-shaven face, have that he did not? Other than dollars, a car, and all the latest rock ‘n’ roll records, of course.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR03_Doris Dumrauf

Doris Dumrauf grew up in the West German state of Rheinland-Pfalz, a region with a huge concentration of U.S. military bases. She worked as an administrative clerk on a U.S. air base for many years.

After moving to the United States, Doris published numerous articles in magazines and newspapers while working on her novel.

Doris Dumrauf is also an award-winning nature photographer and public speaker.



Monday, September 28
Review at I'm Shelf-ish

Tuesday, September 29
Review at Singing Librarian Books
Guest Post at I'm Shelf-ish
Spotlight at Please Pass the Books

Wednesday, September 30
Interview at Singing Librarian Books
Guest Post at Raven Haired Girl
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, October 1
Spotlight at Broken Teepee
Spotlight at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Spotlight at View From the Birdhouse

Friday, October 2
Review at A Fold in the Spine
Spotlight at Book Nerd

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Monday, 28 September 2015

Spotlight! Dreamwielder - Garrett Calcaterra

Dreamweilder (1)

Dreamwielder by Garrett Calcaterra
(The Dreamwielder Chronicles, #1)
Published by: Diversion Books
Publication date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


In a world shrouded by soot and smoke, young Makarria has literally been forbidden to dream.

Legend has foretold the demise of Emperor Thedric Guderian at the hands of a sorceress with royal blood, and the Emperor has made it his legacy to stamp out all magic from the Sargothian Empire in favor of primitive coal fired smelters and steam powered machines. When Guderian’s minions discover a Dreamwielder on a seaside farmstead, a chain of events forces Guderian’s new threat—the young Makarria—to flee from her home and embark upon an epic journey where her path intertwines with that of Princess Taera, her headstrong brother, Prince Caile, and the northman Siegbjorn, who captains a night-flying airship.

Dogging their every step is the part-wolf, part-raven sorcerer, Wulfram, and Emperor Guderian himself, a man who has the ability to stint magic and a vision to create a world where the laws of nature are beholden to men and machines. Only by learning to control the power she wields can Makarria save her newfound companions and stop the Emperor from irreversibly exterminating both the magic in humans and their bond with nature.

DREAMWIELDER will be available in eBook and print editions on SEPTEMBER 29, 2015.



Garrett Calcaterra is author of the epic fantasy novel DREAMWIELDER, available from Diversion Books. In addition, he is author of the horror collection UMBRAL VISIONS, and co-author of the mosaic fantasy novel THE ROADS TO BALDAIRN MOTTE. His humor titles include CODE BROWN and A GOOD BREW IS HARD TO FIND. When not writing, Garrett enjoys hiking with his two dogs and quaffing good beer. Learn more at

Author links:


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Spotlight! A MASTER PASSION - Juliet Waldron

02_A Master PassionA Master Passion: The Story of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton: Book One: Love and Liberty
by Juliet Waldron

Publication Date: March 25, 2015
Books We Love
eBook & Print; 428 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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THE MASTER PASSION is the story of the marriage of our brilliant first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his courageous wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. It begins with a whirlwind Revolutionary War courtship at Washington’s headquarters. Conflict, however, is built into this marriage.

Betsy's passion is Alexander. While Hamilton adores his wife and children, there are times when he loves America more.

“...And hence one Master Passion in the breast
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up all the rest..." ~~Alexander Pope



ABOUT THE AUTHOR03_Juliet Waldron

Juliet Waldron has lived in many US states, in the UK and the West Indies. She earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist’s model to brokerage. Thirty years ago, after her sons left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for her readers. Juliet’s a grandmother, a cat person, and fascinated by reading history and archeology. Juliet spends a lot of time visiting other centuries, but she’s also certain she doesn’t want to live there.

Juliet gardens, bicycles and is involved in local advocacy groups. She and her husband of fifty years enjoy the winding backroads of PA aboard their Hayabusa superbike.

For more information visit Juliet Waldron's website. Juliet also blogs at Possum Tracks and Crone Henge, and you can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


Monday, September 21
Interview at Library Educated
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, September 22
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book
Spotlight at Please Pass the Books

Wednesday, September 23
Spotlight at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Thursday, September 24
Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, September 25
Spotlight at Raven Haired Girl

Saturday, September 26
Spotlight at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, September 28
Review at In a Minute

Tuesday, September 29
Review at Diana's Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 30
Review at A Fold in the Spine
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, October 1
Review at Bookish
Review at The Maiden's Court

Friday, October 2
Review at I'm Shelf-ish
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog
Spotlight at Broken Teepee


To enter to win a paperback copy of A Master Passion & $5 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents 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.

A Master Passion

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Baby, Not Tonight - Dre Sanders


Baby, Not tonight by Dre Sanders is the story of a disheartened and unlucky in love private executive chef named Milla, and her investment banking counterpart, Hunter. After the failure of a five-year relationship with her Parisian boyfriend, Milla's life implodes to a spectacular degree, forcing a move back to New York. Her sous-chef and friend Jake scrambles to help pull her professional life back to some semblance of order, while both he and a sultry minx named Irina offer motley relationship advice. When Hunter enters the equation for a dalliance intended to be anything but a relationship, the pair are catapulted into a madcap arc that is rife with enough satire to keep the pages turning, and just the right amount of heart to make it all endearing.

I loved this book. Every character was fun and each had a very different, very authentic voice throughout the story. The humor is intelligent and lively, marked with punches of dialogue that more often than not had me in stitches. One of the best zingers was when Hunter and his brother Ford were having lunch with their mother, who matter-of-factly proclaims, "When your son passes thirty and has no marriage prospects, people begin to suspect you didn't potty train him properly." I admit that some of the comedy was laced with a couple too many clichéd lines, but they did little to detract from the overall story line and the punchiness of the dialogue. I'd be hard-pressed not to jump up and down, waving this book in my fists in front of anyone who is a bonafide fan of chic lit.


This review was written for Readers' Favorite.

Amazon Link: Baby, Not Tonight

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the Amazon link and buy the book, I may receive a commission.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Anglo - DB Daglish


This is the first book I have read in the D.B. Daglish body of post-apocalyptic novels. Because I live in England, the premise and landscape of Anglo peaked my interest and I decided to dive in. Daglish did a great job developing and layering the characters, who are struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world against the Djinn. In Anglo, the Djinn are actually Muslim extremists, which may prove uncomfortable for readers who have a hard time with language and references that aren't politically correct. Although, if I'm totally honest, if you have issues with things that run off-color you're reading the wrong genre anyways.

The story itself was wholly engrossing and the plight of the Rangers builds into a thoroughly exhilarating climax. Anglo really shines in the evident research that went into the story, with emphasis on real-life survival and situations that are not only believable, but authentic to the setting. I felt this also to be true in the dialogue, which was convincing and realistic. Overall, Anglo is an exceptional read and I highly recommend it.


Amazon Link: ANGLO: A Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Survival

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the Amazon link and buy the book, I may receive a commission.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Spotlight! The Fire Sisters - A.G. Henley



The Fire Sisters by A.G. Henley
(Brilliant Darkness #3)
Publication date: September 25th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Fennel and Peree are finally where they’ve worked ceaselessly to be: together and safe from the Scourge in the protected village of Koolkuna. But on the day of their partnering ceremony the children of the village are stolen away—Fenn’s loyal companion, Kora, among them.

Fenn wants to bring the children home, especially as the villagers seem to blame Peree and her for the tragedy. Only since the death of her own family, she’s terrified that a wrong move on her part will lead to the loss of others she loves.

Despite her apprehension, Fenn and Peree join a small search party led by rival Kaiya, the one person who stands a chance of finding the children thanks to her mysterious past. As they travel away from the safe waters of Koolkuna and into the Scourge-infested wilds, Fenn endures Kai’s scorn, her subtle designs on Peree, and the squabbling of the group. But nothing in her life so far has prepared her for the fierce warrior women who will steal others’ children to preserve their own existence—the Fire Sisters.

If Fenn is to survive the threat of the Scourge, rescue the children from the Sisters, and have a hope of making a life with Peree in Koolkuna, she must face her fear of failure and loss and become the leader she’s destined to be.

Read THE FIRE SISTERS, the thrilling conclusion to the bestselling young adult fantasy Brilliant Darkness series! There are three novels and two short stories in the series. The first novel, The Scourge, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.

The Scourge
The Keeper (novella)
The Defiance
The Gatherer (novella)
The Fire Sisters



A.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first novel in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.

A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they've had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she's not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she's inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Author Links:


Thursday, 24 September 2015

When Dreams Touch - Rosemary Hanrahan

Caught between the 1980’s HIV/AIDS global pandemic and the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, three women strive to realize their dreams.

Pregnant and uneducated, 16-year-old Adelaide trades her dream of escaping the grinding poverty of her rural village for hopes of a better life for her unborn child. Kate, a young American physician, often finds her roles as mother and wife to be in conflict with her childhood dream to practice medicine in a third-world country. Giselle, a university-educated artist, lives in Port-au-Prince. While she sympathizes with the plight of her fellow Haitians, she envisions her and her family’s future as a comfortable life in the United States.

When the violent 1991 coup d’état erupts in Haiti, these three women’s lives intersect and are forever changed. Despite different cultures and life circumstances, the women share a vision of a better future for their children and the troubled country of Haiti. Their personal stories of adversity, tragedy and triumph are embedded in the complex social, political and cultural climate that evolves when international assistance programs influence individuals and communities in the developing world. Often in startling contrast, the women portrayed in When Dreams Touch are united through mutual understanding and respect. With courage and perseverance, they confront the broader injustices of the world they live in and create a legacy of enduring hope.


When Dreams Touch is a vivid and touching epic, chronicling the lives of three women—Adelaide, Giselle, and Kate—their children, and a fourth, exceptionally significant character: the island country of Haiti. It's pretty rare to come across a story line that simply could not be placed anywhere else, but Hanrahan achieves this in her debut novel. The descriptive element places readers almost in the soul of Haiti, making it feel as though the graphic setting is a character in and of itself. I have to say this is what really sets the book apart. This is also true of Kate, an American doctor in Haiti, who is certainly one of the most authentic and layered characters I've come across. Adelaide and Giselle, two Haitian women from drastically different backgrounds, are also particularly well portrayed. Still, it was Kate to whom I felt most genuinely drawn to; the most engaging. Ultimately, the lives of these women and their children intersect in a poignant and powerful way—and I encourage readers to keep a box of tissues handy (advice I was given beforehand and grateful for!).

A valiant first novel and worthy of…


I was provided with a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion, which this most certainly is.

"When Dreams Touch" was awarded: the 2015 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award for superior work by a debut author, the 2015 Eric Hoffer Award for e-book fiction, the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for regional fiction and the 2015 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for historical fiction. The book was also selected as a Historical Finalist, as a First Novel Finalist, and as a General Fiction Finalist in the 2015 IAN Book of the Year Awards and featured in The US Review.

All proceeds from sales of When Dreams Touch go to health and education programs in Haiti.

Available to buy from....   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks

"Hanrahan, a physician who has a decade of firsthand experience living and working in Haiti and other developing countries, brings a realism to her novel that only one who has seen it for themselves can hope to portray." RECOMMENDED by the US Review

 "The author's voice is smooth and professional and she has a way with words that will pull you in and entertain you. In fact, I found it really hard to part with. I'm very impressed with the skill here.... All in all a wonderful read that I highly recommend." - 22nd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Sister Carmelle, the director of Fondwa Clinic in Haiti practicing drawing blood as part of training for the community’s HIV/AIDS program funded by the College of American Pathologists Foundation and Partners in Progress..Sister Carmelle passed awy in March 2012. "When Dreams Touch" is dedicated to this incredible woman. An inspiration and dear friend to me and so many others.

About the Author

Dr. Rosemary Hanrahan Edwards knows how powerfully dreams can touch lives and bring people together, as they do in her first novel, When Dreams Touch. Her experience as a physician, involvement with international and public health non-profit organizations, and leadership in health, education and community development in Haiti are the inspiration of "When Dreams Touch."

Rosemary started volunteering and working in developing countries, including Nepal, Botswana and Haiti, in 2001. Since then, she has touched the lives of many people through her tireless work and her life has been deeply touched by her many colleagues, friends and partners in the developing world.

Rosemary was the 2003 and 2006 recipient of the College of American Pathologists Foundation Humanitarian Grant Award for her medical laboratory work in Haiti. In 2007, she received the Delta Omega National Honor Society Award for Best Master's Thesis in Public Health and the Outstanding Student Award for Academic Excellence from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

The mother of two adult sons, Rosemary currently lives in Western Pennsylvania, where she practices medicine as an independent consultant for anatomic and clinical pathology practices. In addition to volunteering as a consultant in international healthcare and writing grants for non-profit organizations, she has been a board member of Vincentian Collaborative System (VCS) since 2010. VCS provides a continuum of senior services in the Western Pennsylvania region.

When she is not practicing her medical profession, Rosemary enjoys outdoor activities, travel, competing in triathlons and writing. When Dreams Touch is her first novel, which will be published under her pen name, Rosemary Hanrahan.

Find the author on the following sites...

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

In October, Rosemary will travel to Haiti, as a volunteer, with PA PS Team International, H3 Missions and Rotary international District 5330 to conduct cervical cancer screening and treatment for over 2000 Haitian women. Fifteen local Haitian doctors and nurses will also be trained so they can continue this critical screening effort. 

As depicted with Adelaide’s story in When Dreams Touch, Haiti has one of the highest cervical cancer rates in the world and treatment is extremely limited. The average Haitian woman who dies of cervical cancer leaves behind five and eight orphaned children. 

Your donation of $20 U.S. will cover the cost of a PAP smear and, if necessary, life-saving treatment for cervical cancer for one woman in Haiti. 

To make this life-saving U.S tax- deductible donation, please go to:

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Spotlight!! WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER - Rae Carson


Title: WALK

Author: Rae

Pub. Date:
September 22, 2015

Greenwillow Books

Pages: 448


The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research. 



Read chapter 1 of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER, annotated by Rae Carson HERE!






Rae Carson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. Her next book, Walk On Earth A Stranger, will be available September 22, 2015. She lives in Arizona with her husband.










Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



1 winner will receive a set of the 3 GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series (in paperback format). US Only.

 Ends on September 30th at Midnight EST! Entere here: Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

INTERVIEW with Jeanne Mackin, author of The Beautiful American

02_The Beautiful AmericanThe Beautiful American
by Jeanne Mackin

Publication Date: June 3, 2014
NAL/Penguin Group
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio
352 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen-year-old daughter. There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller. Neither has emerged from the war unscathed. Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts to survive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughter's life. Lee suffers from what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920's Paris, when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee's magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons. But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever. Will Nora's reunion with Lee give them a chance to forgive past betrayals, and break years of silence?

A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationship between two passionate, unconventional woman.



PLEASE PASS THE BOOKS welcomes Jeanne Mackin for an interview today!

Hi Jeanne! Can I call you Jeanne?


I see that you were previously an award winning journalist. Which award had the most meaning to you?

I won a couple of awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support for Education, in Washington,D.C. and I found that honor particularly rewarding (pun) since during most of my career I’ve combined writing and teaching. They seem to go hand in hand.

I also noticed you were a research and science writer as well. When did you make the transition to novelist?

I began working as a journalist and short non-fiction writer in my early twenties, after I finished school and traveled quite a bit. I always knew I was going to write long fiction, but it requires the skill and stamina I didn’t have when I was that young, so I worked at the craft of writing shorter pieces until I was in my thirties. Then, when I was certain I knew about sentences and paragraphs and metaphors, and the other foundations good writing needs, then I began to look around for my first novel. The idea found me during a drive with my husband when we passed through a beautiful valley of the Susquehanna. There had once been a colony of French refugees there, during the French Revolution, and I fell in love with that story; it became my first novel, The Frenchwoman. It took me five years to write and was the steepest learning curve of my life.

Congrats on your creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society! When did you receive the fellowship and what did it entail?

A few years ago I was working on a different novel (sadly, still unfinished) and needed to do a lot of reading and research into early New York City history just after our revolution. I wrote a proposal, AAS gave me a fellowship, and I spent a month in Worcester, MA, doing nothing but reading and taking notes in their fabulous library and archives. It was fabulous for someone who loves libraries and research as much as I do. There were other fellows/researchers there at the same time and we all stayed in a great old house and shared facilities. I became friends with a woman lawyer from New England whose ancestor had been a serial killer. She was very sweet and gentle.

You currently have FIVE novels in print. That's amazing! Is there one in particular that holds an extra special place in your heart?

This is a cliché, I know, but books are a bit like children. They are all different, and it’s hard to pick a favorite. There’s the first one, always very special, The Frenchwoman, about Marie Antoinette, and the second one, The Queen’s War, about Eleanor of Aquitaine and the year in the twelfth century when she went to war against her husband; the third one, Dreams of Empire, takes place in Egypt when Napoleon Bonaparte was there, special to me because I’ve always been fascinated by Egypt and went there, rode a camel to the pyramids, etc. The fourth novel, The Sweet By and By, has a special place because it is about spiritualists, and my grandmother had a special interest in spiritualist. Actually, her house was supposed to be haunted, tea cups would levitate and things like that. The Beautiful American relies heavily on perfume metaphor and information and that delighted me, when it appeared on the page because I, in fact, have a very faulty sense of smell (sinus trouble) and it was great to work with a character so unlike myself in that way.

Your latest release, The Beautiful American, has the character Nora Tours traveling through France and London. Are your depictions of these cities based on your own travels?

To some extent. I have been to both cities several times so some of Nora’s impressions of those places are based on my own memories and impressions. But I was writing about those cities in the 1930’s and 1940’s, so some of the depictions are based on research as well, on discovering what they were like then, not now.

In addition to Nora Tours journey, your character Lee Miller experiences the liberation of a concentration camp. Can you talk a bit about the research involved and the emotional toll on you as an author in writing about what she must have seen and felt?

Great questions, and sensitively asked. It was difficult, as you’ve realized. Just looking at Lee’s photographs of the camps put me into a very dark place when I had to work on those sections of the novel. War tends to get romanced over time, all of those World War II movies with John Wayne and pretty nurses, that kind of thing. The reality of it is different. My father was in World War II. That was one of many reasons I wanted to write this particular book. One evening when I was a child we were watching one of those romanticized war movies and he said, “It wasn’t like that. We were just boys, doing what we were told.” He was in the South Pacific (and believe me, the South Pacific war wasn’t at all like the musical) and he didn’t see the camps, but what he saw was bad enough to mark him for life. Imagine how marked Lee must have been, after seeing those camps. Remember, her lover, Man Ray, was Jewish. He made it safely out of Europe, but Lee must have looked at those prisoners and realized one of them could have been him. She was never the same, after. I think it’s why she put her camera away soon after the war and stopped taking photographs. If there is that much evil in the world, how long can you keep looking at it?

What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

Affirmation. People can be good, they can be loving and forgiving. Life is worth fighting for, worth going on. Lee survives a terrible violence in her childhood and becomes strong, talented, a force to be reckoned with. She refuses to be a victim or just an after-thought in someone else’s life. I came away with great respect for her, although she was far from being a saint. The fictional narrator, Nora, must learn to stand up for herself, to find her own path, and finally, to forgive. It’s the only way to keep your spirit and integrity intact.

Thanks for the questions. I hope you and your readers enjoy the novel. Keep reading!


"Will transport you to expat Paris." - Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist

"A brilliant, beautifully written literary masterpiece" - Sandra Dallas, author of Fallen Women

"Leaves its essence of love, loss, regret and hope long after the novel concludes." - Erika Robuck, author of Fallen Beauty

"Achingly beautiful and utterly mesmerizing...her vividly drawn characters...come heartbreakingly alive in their obsessions, tragedies and triumphs" - Jennifer Robson, author of Somewhere in France

"From Poughkeepsie to Paris, from the razzmatazz of the twenties to the turmoil of World War Two and the perfume factories of Grasse, Mackin draws you into the world of expatriate artists and photographers and tells a story of love, betrayal, survival and engaging and unforgettable novel" - Renee Rosen, author Doll Face

ABOUT THE AUTHOR03_Jeanne Mackin

Jeanne Mackin’s novel, The Beautiful American (New American Library), based on the life of photographer and war correspondent Lee Miller, received the 2014 CNY award for fiction. Her other novels include A Lady of Good Family, about gilded age personality Beatrix Farrand, The Sweet By and By, about nineteenth century spiritualist Maggie Fox, Dreams of Empire set in Napoleonic Egypt, The Queen’s War, about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and The Frenchwoman, set in revolutionary France and the Pennsylvania wilderness.

Jeanne Mackin is also the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs and Edible Flowers (Cornell University publications) and co-editor of The Book of Love (W.W. Norton.) She was the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society and a keynote speaker for The Dickens Fellowship. Her work in journalism won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, in Washington, D.C. She has taught or conducted workshops in Pennsylvania, Hawaii and at Goddard College in Vermont.



Monday, September 21
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, September 22
Interview at Please Pass the Books

Wednesday, Spetember 23
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Thursday, September 24
Review at History Undressed
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, September 25
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Interview at History Undressed
Spotlight at Book Nerd

Sunday, September 27
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, September 28
Review at I'm Shelf-ish
Guest Post at To Read, or Not to Read

Tuesday, September 29
Review at Build a Bookshelf
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes

Wednesday, September 30
Review at Queen of All She Reads
Spotlight at View From the Birdhouse
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, October 1
Review at Dive Under the Cover
Interview at The Old Shelter
Guest Post at Books and Benches
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Friday, October 2
Review at A Fold in the Spine
Review & Interview at Singing Librarian Books
Spotlight & Excerpt at A Literary Vacation


To enter to win a paperback copy of The Beautiful American, please enter via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– 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 Beautiful American

Monday, 21 September 2015

Spotlight! Demon of Mine - Rayna Vause

Demon of Mine

Demon of Mine (Hell Inc Series #1)
by Rayna Vause

Climbing the corporate ladder can be hell….

As a Collections Demon, Zavier grants his “clients” one wish in exchange for their souls. His job sucks, but once you make a deal with Corporate South, they own you. The trouble is, Zavier’s not a very good Collections Demon, with his tendencies to spurn authority and find loopholes to help deserving clients out of their contracts. He’s under scrutiny from the head of his department, who would quite literally like to see him burn. He just needs to close a simple deal to get upper management off his back. Instead, he meets Ryan.

Ryan is desperately searching for a way to save his dying sister. He doesn't believe in magic and demons, but he’s out of options. Zavier’s not what he expects in a demon, and even more unexpected is the strong sense of familiarity—very intimate familiarity.

While trying to free Ryan from his contract, Zavier discovers secrets unscrupulous even by South standards. Exposing them could cost Zavier everything, but it might be Ryan’s only hope.

AMAZON LINK: Demon of Mine

Demon of Mine (Hell Inc. Series, #1)

Rayna Vause-4096-color-sm

Rayna Vause loves to craft romances that mix a little action, a little adventure, and, often, a touch of the paranormal. She’s voracious reader and a perpetual student. Rayna has collected more degrees and certifications then she cares to admit and eventually she’ll probably earn a few more just because. She is a proud geek who injects a little bit of her geeky, tech obsessed soul into every story she writes.

When Rayna isn't busy make up stories, she’s likely indulging her love of video games. Why? Because playing through the action, adventure, and romance in a role playing game is as good as reading a romance novel and is sometimes great inspiration for her writing. She’s a martial artist having studied American Kenpo Karate. She is also a Disney fanatic of epic proportions.

Rayna is a member of RWA, RRW, and a founding member of Liberty States Fiction Writers. She lives in southern NJ, just a bit outside of Philadelphia and shares a home with a cat who thinks she’s royalty.



Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse - Lauren Wilson

the art zombie

This is more of a doomsday survival-lite guide than anything else, with fun injections of traditional Zpoc scenarios. If it is approached as more of a beginners guide to surviving a disaster, it is an informative little entry level manual. It won't impress the more exacting brand of preppers. There is some useful information, and some that doesn't serve much of a purpose other than to be able to say it touched on the topic (and padded the book out). This isn't comprehensive and, for most, it isn't even very practical. I am, of course, talking about it as a prepper book...if you are thinking I am taking it seriously for a zombie apocalypse, you probably have more pressing matters to concern yourself with than my review. Your medication, for example.

I digress.

The bottom line: If you are looking for a fun gift or something to flip open at a party, this should do the trick. If you're looking for a real doomsday prepper book, this isn't it. I'm assuming most would fall into the former, and therefore heartily recommend it on the grounds of amusing entertainment.

I'd like to thank Net Galley and the publisher Smart Pop for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, which this is.


Amazon Link: The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the Amazon link and buy the book, I may receive a commission.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Spotlight! Cutlass - Ashley Nixon


Cutlass by Ashley Nixon (Cutlass Series #1)
Publication date: April 23rd 2014
Fantasy, Young Adult

Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.


Cutlass will be FREE on Amazon TODAY!
Amazon Link: Cutlass (Cutlass Series Book 1)


Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren't used as much as she'd like. When she's not writing, she's hard at work on her Master's degree in Library Science and Information Technology, working out, or pretending she's Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she's loved everything Fantasy--resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the 'geek' tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.

Author links:



Friday, 18 September 2015

Cover Reveal! The Edge Of Something More - Andi Loveall

EdgeOfSomethingGood.v2 (1)

The Edge Of Something More by Andi Loveall
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: October 13th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

After a nasty breakup, twenty-two-year-old Devin Ashford is on a mission to travel the world one random excursion at a time. He wants to forget his ex, discover new experiences and end up with some awesome stories to tell. If it takes spending all of his savings to do it, he is ready.

His first stop is a communal homestead in the Appalachians of North Carolina, which turns out to be a bohemian paradise. The weed is plentiful, the owners adore him, and the very sight of Cora, their nineteen-year-old goddaughter, makes him want to set up a permanent camp.

Cora warns that she isn’t ready for a serious relationship, but Devin is falling hard. Playful kisses turn into passionate sex, and each day is spent connecting and enjoying the mind-numbing awesomeness—until he makes the mistake of saying “I love you.” Discussing the future kills the good vibes, and Cora pushes him away.

Pissed off and rejected, Devin begins preparing for his next excursion: backpacking India. But just when it’s time to go, the death of one of the homestead’s beloved animals leaves Cora upset and in need of a friend. Devin’s kindness wins him another shot at romance.

With a plane ticket in hand and his pride on the line, Devin and Cora find themselves teetering on the edge of something more.


Andi Loveall grew up in the blistering heat of California’s Central Valley and has since traveled far and wide in search of adventure and romance. From the steamy streets of Bangkok to the dancing fireflies of the Appalachians, the places, people and things she has seen have convinced her of two things: Life hurts no matter where you go, and the world is a crazy-beautiful place.

A freelance writer by day and storyteller by night, Andi is on a mission to create characters that come alive in worlds she can’t quite reach. When she’s not writing, she’s usually hula hooping, dying her hair bright colors or making delicious home-cooked meals for herself and the people that she loves.

Author links:


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Spotlight! The Natural Order - R.J. Vickers



The Natural Order by R.J. Vickers
Publication date: March 14th 2015
Fantasy, Young Adult

Tristan Fairholm is one of 15 juvenile delinquents selected to learn magic…for a purpose that is kept secret from them. When they at last learn that the magic they have harvested causes death and ruin in a bid to keep the world from collapse, they must make a choice: do they fight it? Or do they use it?
If you loved Harry Potter and The Golden Compass, you won’t want to miss this new YA fantasy!


Barnes and Noble:


R.J. Vickers grew up in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, earned a BA in Writing and Publishing at Emerson College, and was shortly thereafter whisked off to New Zealand by her Kiwi partner.

She now lives in Christchurch with her fiance, Daniel, where she works as a part-time chef. When she's not writing, she loves hiking and adventuring throughout New Zealand.

R.J. Vickers is the author of The Natural Order, the first book in a new young adult fantasy series. She swears by NaNoWriMo, and has written seven short novels during the typing frenzy that is November.

Author links:


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Amatore's Restaurant - James Sillwood


SYNOPSIS: It is the end of another successful year for the Recreative Theatre Company and the cast have arranged to meet at Ristorante Amatore for their end-of-season dinner. As the evening progresses, each guest recalls a past sexual liaison. In these recollections we are transported to a variety of locations; the rolling countryside of Brittany to the brown cafés of Amsterdam, from the grandeur of Venice to the slums of Marseilles. A common theme unfolds: the hidden truths behind the motives for seduction. As the evening comes to a close, old alliances are re-kindled, new attachments are formed, while others are broken. Frustrations rise to the surface as truths are revealed. For some the evening is a great success, for others a disaster.

REVIEW: Amatore's Restaurant is an intriguing collection of erotic vignettes, centered around a closing dinner at Ristorante di Amatore for London's Recreative Theatre Company. In a divergent and distinctive contrast from what we've come to expect in the erotic genre, Sillwood has written a compilation of sketches that simply peeks into the humanity of each character. There is a lot of sex, and it is exceptionally well written, but Sillwood's characters are well fleshed out and layered enough to make them feel authentic. The style of the book as a whole is reminiscent of Steinbeck's The Wayward Bus (although the content certainly is not) in the sense that, while reaching into a moment of time with each character, it does not come together in the end as one might expect, pushing Amatore's Restaurant into as much the genre of literary fiction as it is erotic. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an extraordinary erotic read with real (and most often abject) emotion, in a classical literary format.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, which this is.


Amazon Link: Amatore's Restaurant: Themes of Seduction

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the Amazon link and buy the book, I may receive a commission.