Tuesday, December 30, 2014

HFVBT: Mercedes Rochelle's Heir to a Prophecy

About the book
Publication Date: December 12, 2014
Top Hat Books
Paperback; 418p
ISBN: 978-1-78279-754-8
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Shakespeare’s Witches tell Banquo, “Thou Shalt ‘Get Kings Though Thou Be None”. Though Banquo is murdered, his son Fleance gets away. What happened to Fleance? What Kings? As Shakespeare’s audience apparently knew, Banquo was the ancestor of the royal Stewart line. But the road to kingship had a most inauspicious beginning, and we follow Fleance into exile and death, bestowing the Witches’ prophecy on his illegitimate son Walter. Born in Wales and raised in disgrace, Walter’s efforts to understand Banquo’s murder and honor his lineage take him on a long and treacherous journey through England and France before facing his destiny in Scotland.

About the Author
Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they built themselves.

For more information please visit Mercedes Rochelle’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #HeirtoaProphecyBlogTour #Historical
Twitter Tags:  @hfvbt @authorrochelle

Watch for my review coming the end of this week!


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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Introspective Thoughts - Post Number One

As I look through my A Novel Challenge folder in my email inbox (yes, I have a special folder for those emails from their blog), I find myself contemplating what my reading plans are going to be like in the new year. I have found myself becoming more and more overwhelmed with the number of review books I have on my plate. And while I love reading challenges, I find myself signing up for them year after year and then not keeping track of my progress during the year. What to do, what to do? I know I'm just going to chalk my 2014 reading challenges up as incomplete and prepare myself for the new year. I honestly don't have time to go through and document what I read for which challenge. I'll just hope to do a better job of keeping track in 2015, if I do sign up for anything.

I did not manage to read the 75 books I had challenged myself to this year. I will end up at 56 by year's end on Wednesday. Not a shabby total. That's more than one book read per week, but I do feel like I could read more. I do an awful lot of time wasting...online and watching TV. Something has got to give.

I do seem to do better with long term challenges. I have made pretty good progress on The Classics Club and the Fill in the Gaps 100 challenge. However, I've neglected my Non-Fiction Adventure and my Fantasy Project challenges. I'm hoping to remedy that neglect by adding books from those lists to my TBR Jar Project (as seen on other blogs...I heard about it from The Book Vixen so that's who I'll link back to), as well as 100 books from my book catalog which means all books will come from my own shelves. I'm working on making my lists out now. Planning to have all the little scraps of paper in my jar by January 1st so I can pick my first book of the year!

So, what has my introspection revealed? Well, I plan on cutting back on review books/book tours (hopefully), to sign up for only a few reading challenges (I can handle a few, I think) and read more, much more, from my own shelves which, for me, is the ultimate goal.


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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Cat Thursday: Christmas - Merry Christmas!!!

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)

Alice, Arya and I would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Looking forward to another year of Cat Thursday with all of our dear friends.

Some Christmas funnies for you!

 and the obligatory Grumpy Cat Christmas sentiment, of course!

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cat Thursday: Christmas - Do cats even like Christmas?

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 guess it depends on what part of Christmas. They like the Christmas tree, obviously. However, the dress up is not their favorite. 

And the obligatory Grumpy cat meme...

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cat Thursday: Authors and Cats - Christmas edition (38)

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)

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author and their cat(s).

In honor of Christmas and one of my favorite authors, who is also the author of one of my most favorite books, A Christmas Carol, I give you Charles Dickens. Dickens was a known cat lover. Sadly, I could not find an image of him actually with a cat, but here is something about his love for cats and a lovely quote attributed to him. 

After Charles Dickens’ cat, Bob, died in 1862, he felt compelled to have a memento made of his late pet’s paw. He had Bob’s paw stuffed and attached to a letter opener, upon which, he had inscribed, “C.D. In Memory of Bob 1862.” 

But Bob was just one of Dickens’ many cats. According to Dickens' daughter Mary, the author developed a fondness for a deaf kitten, who was then nicknamed “the master’s cat” because he came to love following the author around. Dickens would let the cat sit with him as he wrote and spent the last 10 years of his life in his company. (Source)

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Interview with Khanh Ha, author of The Demon Who Peddled Longing

Please welcome to the blog today author Khanh Ha, as he answers a few questions about his book and more!

What inspires you to write your stories (novels)?
It’s always something visual: a girl coming down the road on a beautiful white horse; a man wearing a cangue on the way to an execution ground. Or it could be a passion for something. A flame burning low for many years . . . never dying.

How does The Demon Who Peddled Longing differ from your excellent previous novel, Flesh?
“Demon” is set in post-war Vietnam and “Flesh” is at the turn of the 20th century. Though both have the morality in their tales, “Demon” is darker and much more raw.

Do you have a process when you're doing research for your books?
Yes. I handwrite all my research notes in a notepad. In doing so, I register many of the details in my brain. I would end up with hundreds of handwritten pages and then go back and highlight in yellow the most notable details. Then I study the details until I absorb them as if they came from within me and not from an external source anymore.

You have written for many fine literary magazines. How does that differ from writing novels? Do you prefer writing novels?

I do prefer writing novels. I only write short stories during my breaks between writing novels. Yet short stories teach you to write more concisely, because to achieve the climax in a short story is more difficult than in a novel: you can’t waste words; you must capture the moment with precision.

I know you’re probably asked this a lot, but it’s always a burning question: What would be your best advice for aspiring authors?
Develop your voice. Don’t listen to people giving out advice on writing. Just write, then you will find out the incredible intricacy of fiction writing that no one can teach you. It’s like getting on a bicycle and pedaling it around and finding out how to balance yourself, how to steer the contraption. Or you can choose to sit and listen to someone teaching you how to ride a bike!

Do you have a favorite book? Who are your favorite authors?
I have several favorite books: The Sound and the Fury, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Flowers for Algernon, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Count of Monte Cristo. Reading nourishes writing and I owe it to Faulkner, Hemingway, and Cormac McCarthy.

What can we expect from you next? Can you give us a hint on what you’re working on?
My next novel is set in Đien Bien Phu where the French army surrendered in 1954. It’s a love story. Think of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, because the novel spans three decades since 1954, beginning in the valley of Đien Bien Phu, that small valley in the fog and rain of the northwestern forest, a place and time that captivates me all my life, where love blossoms and dies and blossoms again after the lovers have lost each other, aged with the years.

Thank you for joining me today. I really enjoyed chatting with you and look forward to hosting you here at The True Book Addict again in the future.

Thank you, Michelle, for having me on your blog.

About The Demon Who Peddled Longing
Publisher: Underground Voices (November 21, 2014)
ISBN: 978-0-9904331-1-8
Category: Literary Fiction, Multicultural
Tour Date: November, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 296 Pages

From the award winning author of 'Flesh', "Demons advocate love-not the compassionate love devoid of possession and sexual desire. It's the lustful love. They tempt humans with such lust, and the moment living beings fall for it, the demons will peddle longing to take them away."

Thus, begins the terrible journey of a twenty-year-old boy in search of the two brothers who are drifters and who raped and killed his cousin also his girl.

Set in post-war Vietnam, The Demon Who Peddled Longing brings together the damned, the unfit, the brave, who succumb by their own doing to the call of fate. Yet their desire to survive and to face life again never dies, so that when someone like the boy, who is psychologically damaged by his family tragedy, who no sooner gets his life together after being rescued by a fisherwoman than falls in love with an untouchable girl and finds his life in peril, takes his leave in the end, there is nothing left but a longing in the heart that goes with him.

Praise for 'Flesh':
"The story is a sensual one, and the love affair in Flesh, too, is carried on in private, but these images have another, darker side.

The prose of Khanh Ha's debut is laden with sensory details that pull readers into multi-dimensional scenes.

Readers need not worry if they have little familiarity with the political and geographical setting; Khanh Ha brings the world alive for readers with details that speak to the human experience in Flesh.

The themes of this work are sweeping and although only a couple of years pass, there are life-changing events which unfold, for both major and minor characters, in a historical context which will be unfamiliar to many Western readers, and which naturally envelops the characters in the novel.
The outstanding element of this novel is the solid invitation extended to readers, to enter this world which Khanh Ha has created in Flesh."-Buried In Print

"Ha's prose is poetic as it paints the scene in which you can smell the opium, see and hear the brown of Tai's village and the busy streets of Hanoi, and feel the delirium of smallpox or his pulse quicken as he begins to fall in love.
From the atmosphere to the myths and legends, Ha generates a novel that will capture readers from the beginning.

Flesh by Khanh Ha is a stunning debut novel that showcases the writer's ability to become a young male narrator whose view of the world has been tainted by his life circumstances and tragedy, but who has the wherewithal to overcome and become a better man."-Serena, Savvy Verse & Wit

"Flesh is a dark, atmospheric historical fiction novel that captures life in Tonkin (northern Vietnam) at the turn of the 20th century. Ha skillfully uses descriptive prose, in some instances it is almost poetic,and many of his descriptions evoke a sensory-filled reaction - sometimes ominous. The settings he describes can be filled with a sensual richness or evoke a sense of foreboding.
All in all, Flesh is highly recommended and I'll be looking forward to what author Khanh Ha publishes next. I think he is definitely a writer to watch."-Lori, She Treads Softly

"Khanh Ha was born in Vietnam. This is his debut novel. Although the events are violent and disturbing, the writing itself is lyrical and haunting. The events seem to unfold in a dream, slowly revealing the stories that make up the intertwined lives of the characters. This book is recommended for readers interested in other cultures, and what family honor will drive men to do."-Sandie, Booksie's Blog 
"As I read Flesh, Khanh Ha's debut novel, it seemed to me that the story is almost dream­like. A dream in that early hours of a hot morn­ing where you are still in between sleep­ing and wak­ing up. Your con­scious mind taps into your unfor­got­ten but repressed mem­o­ries which lash out in vicious force with unfor­giv­ing sto­ry­lines. While not always bad, these dreams have a ten­dency to shape the day or the week with their bru­tal hon­esty and, quite hon­estly, make excel­lent stories.

Mr. Ha is a tal­ented writer; he does a won­der­ful job set­ting the dark, yet poetic, mood and a fine job describ­ing set­tings in vivid, smells, col­or­ful imagery. Each chap­ter reads like a long lost mem­ory, as if Tai was recall­ing his life in an older age and telling the story to a grand­child or an engaged reader."-Zohar, Man Of La Book

About Khanh Ha
Khanh Ha is the author of Flesh (2012, Black Heron Press). He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and the recipient of Greensboro Review's 2014 Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Waccamaw Journal, storySouth, Greensboro Review, The Long Story, Permafrost Magazine, Saint Ann's Review, Moon City Review, Red Savina Review, DUCTS, ARDOR, Lunch Ticket,Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Tayo Literary Magazine, Sugar Mule, Yellow Medicine Review,Printer's Devil Review, Mount Hope, Thrice Fiction, Lalitamba Journal, and other fine magazines.

Read my review of Flesh.

This tour is brought to you by:


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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Book Blast: Rebecca Hazell's The Tiger and the Dove trilogy {Giveaway}

Please join Rebecca Hazell as she tours the blogosphere for the Tiger and the Dove trilogy Book Blast, from December 1 - 14, and be entered to win all three books in the trilogy!

The Grip of God (Book One)
The Grip of God is the first novel in an epic historical trilogy, The Tiger and the Dove. Set in the thirteenth century, its heroine, Sofia, is a young princess of Kievan Rus. She begins her story by recounting her capture in battle and life of slavery to a young army captain in the Mongol armies that are flooding Europe. Not only is her life shattered, it is threatened by the bitter rivalries in her new master's powerful family, and shadowed by the leader of the Mongol invasion, Batu Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson. How will she learn to survive in a world of total war, much less rediscover the love she once took for granted? Always seeking to escape and menaced by outer enemies and inner turmoil, where can she find safe haven even if she can break free? Clear eyed and intelligent, Sofia could be a character from The Game of Thrones, but she refuses to believe that life is solely about the strong dominating the weak or about taking endless revenge. Her story is based on actual historical events, which haunt her destiny. Like an intelligent Forrest Gump, she reflects her times. But as she matures, she learns to reflect on them as well, and to transcend their fetters. In doing so, she recreates a lost era for us, her readers.

Solomon's Bride (Book Two)
Solomon's Bride is the dramatic sequel to The Grip of God. Sofia, the heroine, a former princess from Kievan Rus' was enslaved by a Mongol nobleman and then taken as a concubine by the leader of the Mongol invasions, Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. Now, having fled the Mongols with a price on her head, Sofia escapes into Persia and what she believes will be safety, only to fall into the clutches of the Assassins, who seek to disrupt the Mongol empire. In a world at war, both outer and inner, the second phase of her adventures unfolds. Can she ever find safe haven, much less the lost love and family that was almost destroyed by the Mongols?

Consolamentum (Book Three)
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?

Buy Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

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

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, December 1
History from a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, December 2
A Book Geek

Wednesday, December 3
The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, December 4
Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Friday, December 5
Must Read Faster

Saturday, December 6
What is that Book About

Sunday, December 7
The True Book Addict

Tuesday, December 9
She is Too Fond of Books & Movies

Wednesday, December 10
To Read, Or Not to Read

Thursday, December 11
Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, December 12
Book Drunkard

Saturday, December 13
Brooke Blogs

To win all three books in Rebecca Hazell’s The Tiger and the Dove trilogy (eBook and print, two winners), please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Ebook giveaway is open internationally. Print book giveaway is open to U.S./Canada.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 17th and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Friday, December 5, 2014

HFVBT: Spotlight on S.K. Rizzolo's Die I Will Not

Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Poisoned Pen Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback
Series: John Chase Mystery Series
Genre: Historical Mystery/Regency

Unhappy wife and young mother Penelope Wolfe fears scandal for her family and worse. A Tory newspaper editor has been stabbed while writing a reply to the latest round of letters penned by a firebrand calling himself Collatinus. Twenty years before, her father, the radical Eustace Sandford, wrote as Collatinus before he fled London just ahead of accusations of treason and murder. A mysterious beauty closely connected to Sandford and known only as N.D. had been brutally slain, her killer never punished. The seditious new Collatinus letters that attack the Prince Regent in the press also seek to avenge N.D.’s death and unmask her murderer. What did the journalist know that provoked his death?

Her artist husband Jeremy is no reliable ally, so Penelope turns anew to lawyer Edward Buckler and Bow Street Runner John Chase. As she battles public notoriety, Buckler and Chase put their careers at risk to stand behind her while pursuing various lines of inquiry aimed at N.D.’s murderer, a missing memoir, Royal scandal, and the dead editor’s missing wife. As they navigate the dark underbelly of Regency London among a cast driven by dirty politics and dark passions, as well as by decency and a desire for justice, past secrets and present criminals are exposed, upending Penelope’s life and the lives of others.

John Chase Mystery Series
Book One: The Rose in the Wheel
Book Two: Blood for Blood
Book Three: Die I Will Not

About the Author
S.K. Rizzolo is a longtime Anglophile and history enthusiast. Set in Regency England, The Rose in the Wheel and Blood for Blood are the first two novels in her series about a Bow Street Runner, an unconventional lady, and a melancholic barrister. An English teacher, Rizzolo has earned an M.A. in literature and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

For more information please visit S.K. Rizzolo’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

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

Stay tuned for my review on December 11th!


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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cat Thursday: Christmas - Let the dressed up cat festivities begin!

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)

And here's a classic...

What I ask myself every week...

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