Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cat Thursday: Halloween - National Cat Day and Happy Halloween!!!

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

Yesterday was National Cat Day...did you give your kitties a hug and a kiss. Alice and Arya received many...much to Alice's consternation. lol

Happy Halloween from Cat Thursday!!!

via Uber

LoL by: Sylviag

via anovos

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Friday, October 24, 2014

HFVBT: Yves Fey's Floats the Dark Shadow - Review

My thoughts
Floats the Dark Shadow is a Gothic and sinister historical mystery set in Belle Epoque, Paris in the late 19th century. The author does an excellent job of bringing to life the sights and sounds of the time. It's easy to get lost in the story and actually feel like you're right of the characters. Even listening to this on audio, I found myself totally engrossed.

Once again, I must credit an author for allowing me to learn something new in history. For the murderer in this book, who is in fact murdering children in the most despicable of ways, believes he is none other than Gilles de Rais reincarnated. And who is Gilles de Rais you might ask? So did I. de Rais was Joan of Arc's lieutenant, who was later burned at the stake by the Church for heresy, sorcery, and the horrific murder of hundreds of peasant children. When I read about this first in the book's blurb, I immediately Googled the name and read up on de Rais. Wow! And so, historical fiction has done it's job once again (well, in addition to telling a great story)...sent the reader on a quest to learn more!

In addition to the above, this book just tells a terrific mystery. We are kept guessing until the end regarding the identity of the murderer. Not only that, but we are also shown how truly vulnerable children were in that era. Children were not cautioned about the dangers in the world back then, as they are now. This made them ripe for the picking. A very tragic reality indeed.

This is a perfectly atmospheric read for this time of the year when things go bump in the night, or for any time you're in the mood for a great historical mystery.

About the book
Publication Date: August 5, 2012
BearCat Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio
Genre: Historical Mystery

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Young American painter Theodora Faraday struggles to become an artist in Belle Époque Paris. She’s tasted the champagne of success, illustrating poems for the Revenants, a group of poets led by her adored cousin, Averill. When children she knows vanish mysteriously, Theo confronts Inspecteur Michel Devaux who suspects the Revenants are involved. Theo refuses to believe the killer could be a friend—could be the man she loves. Classic detection and occult revelation lead Michel and Theo through the dark underbelly of Paris, from catacombs to asylums, to the obscene ritual of a Black Mass. Following the maze of clues they discover the murderer believes he is the reincarnation of the most evil serial killer in the history of France—Gilles de Rais. Once Joan of Arc’s lieutenant, after her death he plunged into an orgy of evil. The Church burned him at the stake for heresy, sorcery, and the depraved murder of hundreds of peasant children. Whether deranged mind or demonic passion incite him, the killer must be found before he strikes again.


Praise for Floats the Dark Shadow
“Yves Fey writes with the eye of an artist, the nose of a perfumer and the nerves of a hardened gendarme in this chilling tale of love and love’s perversion. Not for the faint of heart!” — Cuyler Overholt, award-winning author of A Deadly Affection

“Fey’s writing is gorgeous: she evokes the sights and smells of Paris and poetically presents the darkness and horror that plague tormented souls.” — Historical Novel Society

“Paris is painted with uncanny realism, using masterful splashes of descriptive color against a somber backdrop … The characters develop as their entwined relationships become ever more enmeshed in the dark plot woven around mysticism, Satanism, and sadistic murders…” — Kirkus Reviews

“Yves Fey delves into the dark well of occult, violence and eroticism lying just beneath the surface of fin-de-siècle Paris. The valiant heroine, American artist Theo Faraday, confronts the ultimate evils of child torture and murder as the serpentine page-turning plot unfolds. Beware! It’s strong stuff.” — Barbara Corrado Pope, author of Cézanne’s Quarry and The Blood of Lorraine

“This dark, gothic tale will delight fans of decadent, sensuous, fin-de-siècle Paris.” — Kenneth Wishnia, award-winning author of 23 Shades of Black and The Fifth Servant

“Yves Fey recreates the haunting world of absinthe, of the Symbolist poets, of Salomé, of the Golden Dawn, and of darker, more unfathomable forces, that was Paris in 1897. This well-researched thriller offers satisfyingly complex characters. Powerful, violent, elegant.” —Beth Tashery Shannon, Pushcart Prize winner, author of Tanglevine

About the Author
Floats the Dark Shadow, Yves Fey’s debut mystery set in the dynamic and decadent world of Belle Époque Paris, has won the Silver Medal “IPPY” Independent Publishers Award in mystery, and both the Mystery and Historical Finalist Awards from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It’s also nominated for ForeWord’s Independent Publishers BookTwitter of the Year Award in the Mystery Category.

Yves has an MFA in Creative Writing from Eugene Oregon, and a BA in Pictorial Arts from UCLA. She has read, written, and created art from childhood, and is an ardent movie buff. In her varied career, she has been a tie dye artist, go-go dancer, baker, creator of ceramic beasties, illustrator, fiction teacher, and now, novelist. A chocolate connoisseur, she’s won prizes for her desserts. Her current fascination is creating perfumes inspired by her new novel.

Yves has traveled to many countries in Europe and lived for two years in Indonesia. Currently, she resides in the San Francisco area with her husband and three cats, Marlowe the Investigator and Charlotte and Emily, the Flying Brontë Sisters.

Writing as Gayle Feyrer and Taylor Chase, she previously published four unusually dark and mysterious historical romances, The Prince of Cups, The Thief’s Mistress, Heart of Deception and Heart of Night. She plans to rerelease these with her own cover designs in the coming year. Her fantasy, House of the Twin Jewels, appears in Erotic Interludes.

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

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #FloatstheDarkShadowBlogTour #HistoricalMystery
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @YvesFey

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

HFVBT: Andrea Zuvich's The Stuart Vampire - Review

My thoughts
This book is a rare amalgamation of historical fiction and straight up horror. It's a fairly short novel so is easy to finish rather quickly, yet at times I almost put it aside. What kept me reading was the interesting premise and the meticulous historical detail.

I found Griselda to be an horrific and unredeemable character, which is what the author intended, I'm sure. Just when I thought I couldn't take anymore of her over the top evil, the story shifts to Susanna's story and this was the part of the book that I found more developed character-wise. Susanna had a hard life beyond anything we could imagine. Her story shows very poignantly how precarious a woman's life could be in the 17th century.

There were some slight grammatical and spelling errors in the book, but I do not usually take that into account in my reviews. I prefer to focus on the story and how it was told. Again, The Stuart Vampire is very well-researched and the horror elements are fantastic. However, the story seemed more a narration (except for Susanna's part) than the characters' experiences coming through as a story. That being said, it's well worth the read for anyone who appreciates historical detail and/or a great horror story.

About the book
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
eBook; 215p
Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror/Paranormal

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Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest brother of King Charles II is a handsome man with sound principles. When the twenty-year-old prince contracts smallpox in 1660, however, his life takes a decidedly sinister turn. Obsessed with Henry from afar, Contessa Griselda di Cuorenero – one of the Devil’s concubines – turns him into a vampire and plunges him into the world of night. But Henry soon discovers that not all horrors are of the paranormal kind…

In the unnaturally close village of Coffin’s Bishop, Henry encounters a severely abused young woman – a woman who has suffered under humans who are more monstrous than vampires. Could love save them from the evil they have known? And at what cost?

Henry must choose between his humanity and his monstrous, insatiable desire for human blood.

From the author of “His Last Mistress,” The Stuart Vampire is a dark gothic tale in the vein of The Monk.

Praise for The Stuart Vampire
“An intriguing historical with a darkly gothic twist, I enjoyed The Stuart Vampire and would recommend it to anyone with a taste for period horror.” – Erin Davies.

“Once again Ms. Zuvich brings the setting to life, she paints a vivid picture of the Restoration period – intertwined with drama & romance.” – (Amazon Review)

“A great mix of historical fiction and vampires -what’s not to love?! I really enjoyed this book,I liked the unique blend of fact and fiction!
A fascinating time period anyway,with the added bonus of introducing vampires into the Stuart line it kept me hooked until the end! The author obviously knows her Stuart and 17th Century history and facts were woven in amongst the drama of a secret darker world of evil,all happening during the time of the plague in London.The book was full of great descriptions of this time,I could almost smell it!! Would definitely recommend this book.” – (Amazon Review)

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About the Author
Andrea (aka The Seventeenth Century Lady) is a 17th-century historian, historical consultant, and historical fiction authoress. His Last Mistress – a biographical fiction novella about the Duke of Monmouth and Lady Henrietta Wentworth was published by Endeavour Press, London in 2013. She received double BA degrees in History and Anthropology from the University of Central Florida, and continued her History studies with the University of Oxford and Princeton University. Zuvich has been filmed for NTR television in The Netherlands, talking about William III, and was recently on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour discussing Queen Anne. She was one of the original developers and leaders on The Garden History Tours at Kensington Palace, London. Zuvich lives in Windsor, England.

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

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #TheStuartVampireBlogTour #HistoricalFiction #Horror #Paranormal
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @@17thCenturyLady

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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Cat Thursday - Cats in Art (6) Halloween Edition

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

Was able to find some awesome Halloween art with cats. Yay!

Arthur Rackham, illustration from Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

Edward Ardizzone, illustration from The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes

Frank Buchser, Illustration of Gottfried Keller’s fairy tale Spiegel das Kätzchen (1865)

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Monday, October 20, 2014

HFVBT: Kari Edgren's Goddess Born - Review

My thoughts
If you are a fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, then you will like this book. Don't get me wrong though. There isn't any time travel and it's not set in England nor Scotland. However, as I was reading, I was struck by how much Selah Kilbrid was like Claire from that series. Selah, like Claire, is a healer and is also thrown into a precarious situation that she is highly unsure of how she will extricate herself. And there is where the similarities end. For Selah has a secret. She is Goddess born, a woman with the power to heal with her touch. And given the time she is living, it is indeed a dangerous power to possess. The threat of being accused a witch is around every corner.

What I really liked about Goddess Born was the story and how it built to an exciting climax. I enjoyed the developing love between Selah and Henry and the element of mystery that surrounded the story. The book definitely kept me reading, as I wanted to know who was plotting against Selah, would she be accused a witch, would she and Henry really get together in the end.

This is a fantastic debut novel and I was pleased to discover that Selah's story will continue in the next book, A Grave Inheritance. I really looking forward to reading it!

About the book
Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Carina Press
eBook; ISBN: 9781426898365
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance

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2013 RWA Golden Heart© Finalist
2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist

The power to heal is her divine gift, the fear of discovery, her mortal curse.

Selah Kilbrid is caught between two worlds. A direct descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, she is bound by Tuatha Dé law to help those in need. Yet as a human, she must keep her unique abilities hidden or risk being charged for a witch. In 1730 Pennsylvania, the Quaker community of Hopewell has become a haven for religious freedom—and fanaticism—and there are those who would see her hanged if the truth were revealed.

For eighteen years, Selah safely navigates the narrow gap between duty and self-preservation, until the day a prominent minister uncovers her secret. Obsessed with her power, Nathan Crowley disregards her betrothal to a distant cousin from Ireland and demands marriage in exchange for his silence. Selah stalls for time, but when news reaches the Colonies of her cousin’s death, time has run out.

Rather than submit to Nathan, Selah coerces a stranger to pose as her husband. It’s a good plan—her only plan—even though Henry Alan harbors his own dark secrets. But when she returns to Hopewell a married woman, the real fight has just begun. As unseen forces move against her, Selah doesn’t know which poses the greater danger—a malignant shadow closing in from outside or the internal fire that threatens to consume her heart.

Book Two in the Goddess Born series will be published in November 2014 and Book Three in June 2015.

Buy the eBook
Barnes & Noble
Carina Press

About the Author
Kari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover – The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but not until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college, did she truly understand the power of a book.

Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper.

For more information please visit Kari Edgren’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Sign Up for Kari Edgren’s Newsletter.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #GoddessBornBlogTour #Historical #Paranormal #Romance #NewAdult
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @KariEdgren

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Fall 2014 Edition #readathon

I will be reading. Not sure how much time I will put in and how much I will get read, but I will be participating a bit. I just can't resist! I will be celebrating my second birthday weekend, as my birthday was Wednesday, smack dab in the midst of two weekends. Yes, I'm indulging myself. I'm 46...I deserve it. *wink* My sons are with me this weekend so we will be going out to eat and to a movie and then my older son has a football game tomorrow evening. So most of my reading will be done late at night and the wee hours, although I may be able to snatch some pages while waiting for the football game to start.

What am I planning to read?

I will dabble in...

77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz
The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice
The Stuart Vampire by Andrea Zuvich

Yes, very seasonal reading indeed!

I'm not sure where I'll be updating...perhaps Twitter, Facebook or Instagram...or maybe here. I'm very indecisive lately.

Hope to see you around!


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cat Thursday: Halloween - Yes, I said you're wearing a costume...and I don't care if I'm not your real mom!

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

I never get tired of kitties in costumes! This first one is a riot!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

HFVBT: Bob Van Laerhoven's Baudelaire’s Revenge - Guest Post


When first the original Dutch edition, followed by the French translation, of Baudelaire’s Revenge – De wraak van Baudelaire - La Vengeance de Baudelaire –– appeared in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Canada, many readers were speculating on the novel’s surprising end: Is it “esoteric” or not?

The same goes for the English translation – Baudelaire’s Revenge – published this year in the US by Pegasus Books.

Without giving away the answer – that would be foolish of me after all my hard work, now, wouldn’t it? – I advise readers to take a short moment to ponder the title of the book. “Baudelaire’s Revenge” was not chosen because the title makes you think it’s a crime novel, but because of its subtle meaning.

How can the world famous French poet Charles Baudelaire who has been dead for three years at the start of the novel, take revenge? The answer lurks in the “AIDS of the 19th century”: syphilis, also known as French pox, the clap, tropical bubo, morbus Gallicus (“the French disease”), hard chancre... etc..

In the 19th century syphilis was considered a scourge of the mighty, the rich... and the artists. Many novels and plays presented the disease as an essential plot point. There was a wealth of famous names linked to the topic that could be of literary use: Cesare Borgia, Henry VIII, Ivan the Terrible, John Keats, even Napoleon Bonaparte, were known to have suffered from syphilis.

Anthony Burgess and other present-day authors have noted Shakespeare’s obsession with syphilis: the Divine Bard possessed clinically exact knowledge of its manifestations, which surfaced in many of his sonnets. Guy de Maupassant, “the inspired madman,” complained to his colleague Flaubert about his “darkest depressions and infinite disease.” De Maupassant’s syphilis led him to write horror stories like The Horla, in which the last stage of neurosyphilis was symbolized in the form of a Demon invading the protagonist’s brain. In everyday life, de Maupassant became obsessed with the idea that flies were eating his brain and he suffered “hellish” hallucinations. The brilliant short-story writer died in an asylum, his mind destroyed by the venereal disease.

As recently as the beginning of the 20th century, syphilis was considered to be inherited rather than contagious. Many physicians were convinced that it was transmitted by “women of the working class” as well as by prostitutes, because syphilis was thought to be hereditary in those humble social classes. The “clap” thus became a tool in a conflict of classes: women of the poor quartiers and cocottes were blamed with undermining the social order by “degenerating” families of the higher classes - whose men they seduced - through the disease.

Between 1870 and 1900, French women who were suspected of having syphilis were therefore arrested and imprisoned in dreadful circumstances. As a result, many prostitutes tried to hide their genital lesions with special ointments and skin-colored creams, as described in Baudelaire’s Revenge.

There was not much that medicine could do for sufferers but administering mercury, which was horribly toxic and of doubtful efficiency. Despite the relentless spreading of the disease through direct contact with the genital sores, most physicians considered condom use futile and even a possible source of “mental decay” in women who enjoyed “useless orgasms” because they knew that the condom would prevent pregnancy. So “the Great Pretender”, as the “morbus Gallicus” was sometimes called due to the efforts of the sufferers to hide it, could go on wreaking havoc.
Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, first discovered in 1905, that can be transmitted to unborn children in the womb. In the 19th the newborns infected with this congenital form died. If they survived, they bore a terrible burden, manifested by blindness, nose deformations, notched teeth, and mental retardation.

In adults, the disease revealed itself in three stages: primary syphilis was no more than a painless initial sore, the secondary stage threw in a rash and fever. The third stage could follow after many years of latency and took on different forms. Gummatous syphilis is characterized by granulomatous lesions. These “gummas,” as they are called, have a rubbery texture and invade skin and organs. Most sufferers of this form lost their noses. Cardiovascular syphilis began as an inflammation of the arteries and could be life-threatening by damaging the heart valves or rupturing blood vessels. Neurosyphilis, the syphilitic infection of the nervous system, is the most chronic and insidious inflammatory process known. Psychosis, delirium, and dementia were the result. In the late stage of this form of syphilis, sufferers very often experienced brusque and absurd delusions, included century, around 70% of sensations of immortality, supernatural powers, apocalyptic visions, or being harassed by “entities,” demons or devils.

Now imagine this: in Baudelaire’s Revenge, in 1870, commissioner Paul Lefèvre is prowling the Parisian streets in uproar. His mind is in turmoil. He has just killed the woman he loved. He feels a dreadful fever invading his body. The Communards, members of the workers’ association that instigated the uprising, are being slaughtered by the National Guard. France is no longer at war with the Prussians but with itself.

As is Paul Lefèvre. Beads of sweat roll down his heavy jowls. He wonders: Is the world a stage, an illusion?

Am I one?

Penicillin, the antibiotic that cures syphilis, was discovered in 1928. It would take until 1943 until it was first used in this indication.

About the book
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Pegasus Books
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Mystery/Thriller

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It is 1870, and Paris is in turmoil.

As the social and political turbulence of the Franco-Prussian War roils the city, workers starve to death while aristocrats seek refuge in orgies and seances. The Parisians are trapped like rats in their beautiful city but a series of gruesome murders captures their fascination and distracts them from the realities of war. The killer leaves lines from the recently deceased Charles Baudelaire’s controversial anthology Les Fleurs du Mal on each corpse, written in the poet’s exact handwriting. Commissioner Lefevre, a lover of poetry and a veteran of the Algerian war, is on the case, and his investigation is a thrilling, intoxicating journey into the sinister side of human nature, bringing to mind the brooding and tense atmosphere of Patrick Susskind’s Perfume. Did Baudelaire rise from the grave? Did he truly die in the first place? The plot dramatically appears to extend as far as the court of the Emperor Napoleon III.

A vivid, intelligent, and intense historical crime novel that offers up some shocking revelations about sexual mores in 19th century France, this superb mystery illuminates the shadow life of one of the greatest names in poetry.

Praise for Baudelaire’s Revenge
“[An] intense historical crime thriller. The intricate plot, menacing atmosphere, and rich evocations of period Paris have undeniable power.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Vigorous. A finely-tuned balancing act between style and content. Add to all this the extremely convincingly painted tragic characters and the multitude of mysterious figures, and what you get is a winner who gives added luster to this jubilee edition of the Hercule Poirot Prize.” (The jury of the Hercule Poirot Prize)

“Van Laerhoven packs much complexity into 256 pages, giving this historical mystery the heft of a far longer work ( …) The book’s main preoccupation is the conclusive demonstration that everyone is guilty of something—the only mystery is, to what degree? The flowers of evil, sketched in lurid botanical detail…” (Kirkus Reviews)

“(A) decadent tale….Commissioner Lefèvre’s philosophical discussions with artists and poets and a creepy Belgian dwarf are fascinating….” (NY Times Book Review)

“Published for the first time in English, this roman policier isn’t so much a straight detective story (although there are two detectives in it) as an evocation of a mind-set that now seems extravagant: the 19th-century poet’s fascination with sex and death. It’s no wonder this title won the Hercule Poirot Prize: the author is Belgian, as is the prize, and the twisted plot is as complicated as Agatha Christie’s most convoluted mystery. Mystery aficionados will love this pastiche of Wilkie Collins and Edgar Allan Poe.” (Library Journal)

“(A) gritty, detail-rich historical mystery novel involves the reader in a subtle narrative web. This complex mystery from an award-winning Belgian author joins history and literary history to create a sly, smart revenge tale.” (Shelf Awareness Pro)

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About the Author
Bob Van Laerhoven became a full-time author in 1991 and has written more than thirty books in Holland and Belgium. The context of his stories isn’t invented behind his desk, rather it is rooted in personal experience. As a freelance travel writer, for example, he explored conflicts and trouble-spots across the globe from the early 1990s to 2005. Echoes of his experiences on the road also trickle through in his novels. Somalia, Liberia, Sudan, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar… to name but a few.

During the Bosnian war, Van Laerhoven spent part of 1992 in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Three years later he was working for MSF – Doctors without frontiers – in the Bosnian city of Tuzla during the NATO bombings. At that moment the refugees arrived from the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. Van Laerhoven was the first writer from the Low Countries to be given the chance to speak to the refugees. His conversations resulted in a travel book: Srebrenica. Getuigen van massamoord – Srebrenica. Testimony to a Mass Murder. The book denounces the rape and torture of the Muslim population of this Bosnian-Serbian enclave and is based on first-hand testimonies. He also concludes that mass murders took place, an idea that was questioned at the time but later proven accurate.

All these experiences contribute to Bob Van Laerhoven’s rich and commendable oeuvre, an oeuvre that typifies him as the versatile author of novels, travel stories, books for young adults, theatre pieces, biographies, poetry, non-fiction, letters, columns, articles… He is also a prize-winning author: in 2007 he won the Hercule Poirot Prize for best thriller of the year with his novel De Wraak van Baudelaire – Baudelaire’s Revenge.

For more information please visit Bob Van Laerhoven’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #BaudelairesRevengeBlogTour #HistoricalFiction
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @BobVanLaerhoven


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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cat Thursday: Halloween - But Kitty, you must wear a costume!

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

I'm foregoing Authors and Cats Thursday, as this is the first of my month long Halloween themed Cat Thursdays. As and Cs will return in November, never fear! Now, go forth and view kittehs in Halloween costumes. *snicker*

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Friday, October 3, 2014

HFVBT: E. Knight's Prisoner of the Queen - Review

My thoughts
I think what I enjoy most about the Tales from the Tudor Court series is the author's ability in taking the fringe players and showing us how essential they were to what was going on in the Tudor world. She accomplished this in My Lady Viper, with Anne Seymour, and she does it brilliantly once again with this book surrounding Katherine Grey's life.

Katherine was the younger sister to Lady Jane Grey, Queen Jane for those illustrious nine days. She was the middle daughter of Frances Grey, nee Brandon, who was the niece of Henry VIII and daughter to Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon. In this book, Katherine seemed to be a more grounded type of person, who really only wanted the simple things in life. Not the intrigue of court. Although naive at times, she is very kind to the less fortunate, which I thought commendable. But she also has an inner strength that really comes to her aid later on when she finds herself in a precarious situation.

It was difficult for me to read Queen Elizabeth I as being such a mean, spiteful...and paranoid...woman, as I have a spot in my heart for her. However, the author here makes us believe that she could have really been like that. Not by simply writing her character that way, but by portraying the reasons why might have behaved in this way. It doesn't really portray her in a favorable light, but we can accept that, given the times and what she had endured, she could have very well had reasons for her behavior. I say, "Well Done!"

In all, Prisoner of the Queen is an excellent historical novel. It is well-researched and the characters are well-written, interesting and engaging, as is the entire story. If you have not picked this series up as yet, I highly recommend that you do.

About the book
Publication Date: July 2014
Knight Media, LLC
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Series: Tales From the Tudor Court
Genre: Historical Fiction

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I have served three queens in my life. One was my sister, one was my savior, and one my bitterest enemy.

Knowing she was seen as a threat to the Queen she served, Lady Katherine Grey, legitimate heir to the throne, longs only for the comfort of a loving marriage and a quiet life far from the intrigue of the Tudor court. After seeing her sister become the pawn of their parents and others seeking royal power and then lose their lives for it, she is determined to avoid the vicious struggles over power and religion that dominate Queen Elizabeth’s court. Until she finds love—then Kat is willing to risk it all, even life in prison.

Tales From the Tudor Court Series
Book One: My Lady Viper
Book Two: Prisoner of the Queen

About the Author
E. Knight is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America and several RWA affiliate writing chapters: Hearts Through History, Celtic Hearts, Maryland Romance Writers and Washington Romance Writers. Growing up playing in castle ruins and traipsing the halls of Versailles when visiting her grandparents during the summer, instilled in a love of history and royals at an early age. Feeding her love of history, she created the popular historical blog, History Undressed ( Under the pseudonym Eliza Knight, she is a bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author of historical and erotic romance.

For more information please visit E. Knight’s website and blog. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #PrisoneroftheQueenBlogTour #HistFic
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @elizaknight

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cat Thursday - Cats in Art (5)

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

I am hanging my head in shame because I have been a terrible hostess the past two weeks. I have officially renamed September 2014 as The Month from Hell 2014. I'm sure you've seen a dog or cat chasing their tale before. Well, that's what I felt like ALL MONTH LONG! I am so sorry I have not been by to visit. Please do not give up on me and Cat Thursday. I promise I'll get back in the swing this week.

I know it's October 2 and I usually start my Halloween posts in October, but I'm going to wait until next week because I found some wonderful cats in art to share this week. I hope you enjoy them!

 Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (British painter, 1871-1945) Detail 1901

John White Alexander (American artist, 1856-1915) Black and Red 1896

John White Alexander (American artist, 1856-1915) The Green Dress 1890s

Seymour Joseph Guy (American artist, 1824-1910) One for Mommy, One for Me

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rebecca Hazell's Consolamentum Rounds Out this Excellent Historical Fiction Trilogy - Excerpt and {Giveaway}

Lady Heloise added, “It is said that Saint Denis rose up after his execution, picked up his head, and walked a thousand feet before falling again. That is where a pilgrimage shrine was later founded, but the abbey that bears his name lies farther to the north. You will soon see that it is quite beautiful and also very special, for it is where all the kings of Francia have been buried since it was built. The king, I hear, intends to commission effigies to lie over each tomb, even of the earliest kings of Francia, like Clovis and Pepin. I find it very moving, and you must as well; it is good politics.

“Oh, look, they are already setting up for the October fair; one farmer always sells the richest cream you ever tasted. Not that I use it for eating: it also works wonders on the skin.”

As we passed, I saw many men and a few women setting up booths and stalls and even a few solid buildings. The aroma of roasting meat drifted across our path.

The fair was not yet open, but she and several other ladies did fall back to buy trinkets and, yes, cream, which the vendors were glad to sell them. I made the mistake of following behind. They were already returning, and I should have gone with them then, but I was drawn by a tent surrounded by colorful banners depicting odd-looking symbols. I thought just to look at them quickly and then to return to ask Heloise what they meant, but a woman dressed in motley came out when I rode up and began urging me inside her tent to have my fortune told. When I refused, a gang of hard-looking men suddenly surrounded me.

They probably had never heard a lady scream, but scream I did, and several knights in our company were soon bearing down on the ruffians, laying about and quickly rescuing me. This was shaming enough, but the king and queen heard the noise and were staring at me as I rode back, red-faced, to join their train. Lord Joscelin rode back to see me, looking stern. At least he began with, “Are you all right?” I nodded, looking down, unable to meet his eye. But then he added, “Don’t do anything foolish like that again. King Louis marked it, and you especially offended him by seeking out a fortune teller!”

About the book
In the finale of Sofia's memoir, Consolamentum, both dramatic and poignant, her dreams of home are shattered when her own family betrays her. Raising her child on her own, mourning the loss of her beloved knight, and building a trading empire, she seeks safe haven for her child and herself. Her quest takes her from Antioch to Constantinople to Venice. A surprise reunion in Venice leads her to France where she runs afoul of the newly established Holy Inquisition, possibly the greatest challenge she has yet faced. Can a woman so marked by oppression, betrayal, and danger ever find her safe haven, much less genuine happiness?

The novel is available both in paperback and Kindle versions and through your local bookstore by special order.

About the author
Rebecca Hazell is a an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created best selling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases. She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history.

Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. They live near their two adult children in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.

Visit Rebecca:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook

Previous stop on the tour (9/29): Oh, For The Hook of A book - Excerpt and Giveaway
Next stop on the tour (10/3): Must Read Faster - Guest Post

Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter to enter to win the entire trilogy, The Grip of God, Solomon's Bride and Consolamentum, Kindle editions - open internationally! Good luck!
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