June 3, 2015

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

by Celticlady

eight-hundred-grapes-9781476789255_lg

A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she’s describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine).

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…

Bestselling author Laura Dave has been dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA TODAY), a “decadent storyteller” (Marie Claire), and “compulsively readable” (Woman’s Day). Set in the lush backdrop of Sonoma’s wine country, Eight Hundred Grapes is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative novel about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect. –

http://videos.simonandschuster.com/You-ll-never-guess-the-Secret-Ingredient-in-Laura/4232707042001

See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Eight-Hundred-Grapes/Laura-Dave/9781476789255?cp_type=end&rmid=20150603_EightHundredGrapes&rrid=6213162#sthash.W2FUdBhv.dpuf

Laura Dave is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Eight Hundred Grapes, The First Husband, The Divorce Party, and London Is the Best City in America. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Ladies Home Journal; Glamour; Redbook; Self; and The New York Observer. Dave has appeared on the CBS Early Show, Fox and Friends, and All Things Considered; and Cosmopolitan Magazine recently named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom” of the year. Her novels have been published in eighteen countries and have been optioned for film by Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Universal Studios. Fox 2000 optioned the rights to Eight Hundred Grapes with Dave writing the screenplay.  – See more at: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Laura-Dave/467638732#sthash.q46Eaqjj.dpuf

Book Recommendation Only and Not a Review By Me

May 27, 2015

The Ballymara Road by Nadine Dorries Book Recommendation

by Celticlady

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Book Details

  • Series: The Four Streets Trilogy (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (June 4, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781857644
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781857649

The final gripping instalment of the great trilogy, which began with THE FOUR STREETS and continued in HIDE HER NAME.

On Christmas morning, in the unforgiving harshness of a convent in Galway, Kitty Doherty gives birth to her baby – who is immediately taken away for adoption in America. But Kitty’s life is hanging by a thread, her only hope a dangerous journey through the ice and snow to Ballymara and her Irish family.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Sean and Alice try to set up a new life, far away from the families they have deserted in Liverpool. And in the Four Streets change is afoot, as a new priest arrives and the mystery of Father James’s murder begins at last to unravel.

Nadine Dorries was born in Liverpool in the 1950s and raised on a council estate, the daughter of a bus driver. Her first novel, THE FOUR STREETS, was inspired by memories of her childhood, particularly her Irish grandmother who she was very close to.

Nadine trained as a nurse, then followed with a successful career in which she established and then sold her own business. She has been the MP for Mid-Befordshire since 2005 and has three daughters.

Nadine is currently working on her second novel, a sequel to THE FOUR STREETS.

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The Four Streets

Book one

A heartbreaking family saga set in 1950s Liverpool, the first novel from the stunningly talented Nadine Dorries MP.

1950s Liverpool. In the tight-knit Irish Catholic community of the Four Streets, two girls are growing up.

One is motherless – and hated by the cold woman who is determined to take her dead mother’s place. Will her adored father wake up to what is happening before it is too late?

The other is hiding a dreadful secret which she dare not let slip to anyone, lest it rips the heart out of the community. And yet, how long can she possibly live with it?

In the Four Streets there is almost nothing that a cup of tea and a good chat won’t sort out. Laughing, grieving, hoping for better things – all this the people of the Four Streets can do together. But what can they do when a betrayal at the very heart of their world comes to light?

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Hide Her Name

Book Two

This gripping follow on from The Four Streets finds the community alive with rumours and gossip after the murder which rocked it to the core.

No one knows – or is saying – who did it, least of all the police, but they are not giving up their search for the truth. Somewhere, in this tight-knit Irish Catholic community, someone must know something. Someone will surely talk one day.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Kitty Doherty, pregnant with the dead man’s child, is a living danger to everyone who needs to keep the secret. Her mother, Maura and best friend Nellie’s grandmother, the redoubtable Kathleen, decide the girls must be spirited away quietly to Ireland to await the birth of the baby.

But it isn’t easy to keep a secret that big.

Sources: Goodreads, Amazon

Book Recommendation only, not a review by me.

May 15, 2015

Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland Blog Tour!

by Celticlady

Years and an Ocean

Blog Tour Schedule

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Years and an Ocean by Jo Noelle

Going to a séance was supposed to be a harmless diversion in Victorian England, but for Delia Spencer, it was life altering. Since that day, she has been plagued by fainting spells, while her consciousness visits Elle Thomas more than a century in the future. In modern-day New York, Elle has kept secret the dream-like memories of Delia’s life. As the visits have become more frequent, Elle is confused about what is her life and what is not. Back in England, Delia’s father is determined to marry her off to any marginally suitable man before her illness becomes known to society. But will Delia consent, now that she’s had a taste of Elle’s independence?

Amazon

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Praise for Years and an Ocean

I enjoyed this fresh take on characters that connect over differing time periods. The characters were rich and interesting, and I loved the historical aspect with the modern. Clean romance is a bonus. The light fantasy elements bordered on paranormal, but never got out of the realm of plausibility. Good writing and a story I can recommend. ~Renae Mackley

This book was not at all predictable, which I love! Just when I thought I had the ending figured out, Jo Noelle took me for a ride. ~Stacy Carroll

 

Jo NoelleAuthor Jo Noelle

Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people—

Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.

They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life as their first completed work. Other titles include Newbie and Damnation.

Deanna attended college before marrying and starting her family.

Canda received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Reading Specialist endorsement, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her day job focuses on teaching teachers and children about literacy.

Website * Twitter

 

25_Amazon_Paypal

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/30/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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May 12, 2015

Tiffany Girl by Deeane Gist Book Recommendation!!

by Celticlady

 

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From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair and Fair Play comes a compelling historical novel about a progressive “New Woman”—the girl behind Tiffany’s chapel—and the love that threatens it all.

As preparations for the 1893 World’s Fair set Chicago and the nation on fire, Louis Tiffany—heir to the exclusive Fifth Avenue jewelry empire—seizes the opportunity to unveil his state-of-the-art, stained glass, mosaic chapel, the likes of which the world has never seen.

But when Louis’s dream is threatened by a glassworkers’ strike months before the Fair opens, he turns to an unforeseen source for help: the female students at the Art Students League of New York. Eager for adventure, the young women pick up their skirts, move to boarding houses, take up steel cutters, and assume new identities as the “Tiffany Girls.”

Tiffany Girl is the heartwarming story of the impetuous Flossie Jayne, a beautiful, budding artist who is handpicked by Louis to help complete the Tiffany chapel. Though excited to live in a boarding house when most women stayed home, she quickly finds the world is less welcoming than anticipated. From a Casanova male, to an unconventional married couple, and a condescending singing master, she takes on a colorful cast of characters to transform the boarding house into a home while racing to complete the Tiffany chapel and make a name for herself in the art world.

As challenges mount, her ambitions become threatened from an unexpected quarter: her own heart. Who will claim victory? Her dreams or the captivating boarder next door?

 

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Photograph by Korey Howell Photography

Deeanne Gist has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very fun, very original historical novels. She has won the National Readers’ Choice Award, Booksellers’ Best Award, USA Best Books Award, and stellar reviews. With a background in education and journalism, Deeanne has written for People, Parents, and Parenting magazines. Visit her online at IWantHerBook.com and at Facebook.com/DeesFriends.

 

Source: http://www.simonandschuster.com/

May 1, 2015

The Rocks by Peter Nichols Book Recommendation

by Celticlady

9781594633317

 

Book Details
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books (May 26, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594633312
ISBN-13: 978-1594633317

Book

A romantic page-turner propelled by the sixty-year secret that has shaped two families, four lovers, and one seaside resort community.

Set against dramatic Mediterranean Sea views and lush olive groves, The Rocks opens with a confrontation and a secret: What was the mysterious, catastrophic event that drove two honeymooners apart so suddenly and absolutely in 1948 that they never spoke again despite living on the same island for sixty more years? And how did their history shape the Romeo and Juliet–like romance of their (unrelated) children decades later? Centered around a popular seaside resort club and its community, The Rocks is a double love story that begins with a mystery, then moves backward in time, era by era, to unravel what really happened decades earlier.

Peter Nichols writes with a pervading, soulful wisdom and self-knowing humor, and captures perfectly this world of glamorous, complicated, misbehaving types with all their sophisticated flaws and genuine longing. The result is a bittersweet, intelligent, and romantic novel about how powerful the perceived truth can be—as a bond, and as a barrier—even if it’s not really the whole story; and how one misunderstanding can echo irreparably through decades.

Author

John Christopher is the pseudonym under which the British science fiction author Samuel Youd has been most successful. Youd has written under the following pseudonyms:

• John Christopher
• Stanley Winchester
• Hilary Ford
• William Godfrey
• Peter Graaf
• Peter Nichols
• Anthony Rye

He is best known for The Tripods trilogy, published under the pseudonym John Christopher.

His novels were popular during the 1950s and 1960s, most notably The Death Of Grass. In recent years his novels appear to have fallen out of favour and now few remain in print, although they are still valued by collectors and fans of the genre. There was a brief revival in the 1980s after British television dramatised The Tripods.

Many of his science fiction novels follow the ruined earth pattern also followed by authors John Wyndham or H. G. Wells. In these novels everyday characters are placed into a setting in which they experience a major disaster which has severe implications for society and the world. Thus, he explores how characters and society cope with such changes.

In 1966 he started writing science-fiction for adolescents. The Tripods trilogy, the Prince in Waiting trilogy (also known as the Sword of the Spirits trilogy) and The Lotus Caves are still widely read today. The Tripods is being developed as a film by Alex Proyas at Paramount Pictures, and The Lotus Caves is being developed as a film by Walden Media.

Adapted and excerpted from Wikipedia.

 

Book Recommendation Only and Not a Review by Me.

April 22, 2015

A Desparate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley with Giveaway!

by Celticlady

 

I have to say that Susanna Kearsley’s novels have been favorites of mine for quite a few years…each novel is full of suspense and always an emphasis of a past life. If you want to try this author, or you have and need the books, enter below for a chance to win!!

Description:

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

9781492602026 * $16.99/TP * ON-SALE: April 7, 2015

For nearly three hundred years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has lain unread. Now, amateur code breaker Sara Thomas has been sent to Paris to crack the cipher.

Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing—for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.

As Mary’s gripping tale is revealed, Sara is faced with challenges that will require letting go of everything she thought she knew—about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women will be united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the coincidences of fate.

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is known for her meticulous research and exotic settings from Russia to Italy to Cornwall, which not only entertain her readers but give her a great reason to travel. Her lush writing has been compared to Mary Stewart, Daphne du Maurier, and Diana Gabaldon. She hit the bestseller lists in the U.S. with The Firebird (a RITA winner) as well as, The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden (both RITA finalists and winners of RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards). Other honors include National Readers’ Choice Awards, the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, and finaling for the UK’s Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Her popular and critically acclaimed books are available in translation in more than 20 countries and as audiobooks. She lives in Canada, near the shores of Lake Ontario.

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April 18, 2015

The Alterpiece by Sarah Kennedy Review!

by Celticlady


THE ALTARPIECE 

It is 1535, and in the tumultuous years of King Henry VIII’s break from Rome, the religious houses of England are being seized by force. Twenty-year-old Catherine Havens is a foundling and the adopted daughter of the prioress of the Priory of Mount Grace in a small Yorkshire village. Catherine, like her adoptive mother, has a gift for healing, and she is widely sought and admired for her knowledge.

Catherine’s hopes for a place at court have been dashed by the king’s divorce, and she has reluctantly taken the veil.  In the remote North, the nuns enjoy the freedoms unavailable to other women.  England is their home, but the times have changed, and now the few remaining nuns dread the arrival of the priory’s new owner, Robert Overton.  When the priory’s costly altarpiece goes missing, Catherine and her friend Ann Smith find themselves under increased suspicion.

King Henry VIII’s soldiers have not had their fill of destruction, and when they return to Mount Grace to destroy the priory, Catherine must choose between the sacred calling of her past and the man who may represent her country’s future.

Author Bio

Sarah Kennedy holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature from Purdue University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. The author of seven books of poems as well as The Altarpiece and City of Ladies, books one and two in The Cross and the Crown series, she has received individual artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, as well as an award for scholarship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She teaches at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. Her website is http://sarahkennedybooks.com/.

OTHER LINKS

http://www.knoxrobinsonpublishing.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6538009.Sarah_Kennedy

https://twitter.com/KennedyNovels

My Thoughts

Henry VIII has broken with Rome to establish the Church of England. He wants(demands) that all priests and nuns forsake the Catholic religion and embrace the new church. Over a period of time, there were a lot of complaints about monastic impropriety and supposedly this new act by Henry VIII will stop that, but it is only to line the pockets of the royalty and new church. Catherine Havens was abandoned on the church doorsteps as a baby and taken in by the nuns at Priory of Mount Grace, becoming the adopted daughter of the prioress. Catherine was one of these nuns forced out of the only home she had ever known. Most of the nuns refused to leave when the men came ordered by the priory’s owner, Robert Overton, to take what wasn’t nailed down and destroy the monastery itself. 

A very valuable Alterpiece goes missing and the nuns are accused of hiding it or they know who stole it. Catherine is not really committed to being a nun, she would rather heal people and live a quiet life. Robert’s brother William becomes ill, along with other people in the region with the pox. Catherine nurses him back to health and at the same time tries to figure out who and why the Alterpiece was stolen or hidden away. Robert is adamant that it is the nuns who are to blame so Catherine along with William and her fellow nun and friend Anne race against time, before the men who were ordered by Robert come back to either get it back. At the same time there are a few mysterious deaths occuring at the monastery and Catherine finds the deaths suspicious.

This is a story that is not often told, what happened to the nuns or priests and where did they go and how did they live after a mostly sequestered life in the monasteries and nunneries. This book gives the reader a glimpse into the decisions that these people had to make. Do they accept the new religion and start new lives outside the church or do they risk danger of imprisonment or death for not complying. 

I loved Catherine’s character, a young woman who is passionate about what she does and clearly wants to do nothing but help people, even at the risk of her own health. The story also gives us a further look into Henry VII and his more often than not cruel machinations against his own people. This novel is filled with suspense, illicit love and human emotions all put into a historical fiction novel that is a worthy read. I really loved it and am eager to read the next in the series, City of Ladies. After that there is the third in the series called the King’s Sisters. Excited to read both of those. If you love a great historical fiction series that is impeccably researched, this one is for you!

I received a copy for review and was not monetarily compensated for my review.

March 21, 2015

Murder in the Queen’s Wardrobe (A Mistress Jaffrey Mystery #1) by Kathy Lynn Emerson

by Celticlady

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The Book

Book Details
Series: A Mistress Jaffrey Mystery (Book 1)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Severn House Publishers; First World Publication edition (March 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 072788459X
ISBN-13: 978-0727884596

A female spy will face mortal danger to protect her queen and husband . . .”
London, 1582: Mistress Rosamond Jaffrey, a talented and well-educated woman of independent means, is recruited by Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, to be lady-in-waiting to Lady Mary, a cousin of the queen. With her talent in languages and knowledge of ciphers and codes, she will be integral to the spymaster as an intelligence gatherer, being able to get close to Lady Mary just at the time when she is being courted by Russia’s Ivan the Terrible. However, there are some nobles at court who will do anything they can to thwart such an alliance and Rosamond soon realises the extent of the danger when a prominent official is murdered and then there is an attempt on Lady Mary’s life. In her quest to protect Lady Mary and her own estranged husband Rosamond must put herself in mortal peril.

Kathy Lynn Emerson’s Murder in the Queen’s Wardrobe brings back characters last seen in her Face Down Mystery Series. Mistress Rosamond Jaffrey, the illegitimate daughter of Lady Appleton’s late, unlamented husband, Sir Robert Appleton, is the sleuth in this new series. She previously appeared as a young girl in Face Down Beside St. Anne’s Well and the story of her elopement can be found in the short story “Any Means Short of Murder.”

Read an excerpt here: 

*Book recommendation only and not a review by me.

Sources: Goodreads, Amazon

The Author

Kathy Lynn Emerson began writing as a child: a newspaper for her dolls and then a rambling adventure series featuring characters from all her favourite television shows. On reaching adulthood, she moved from New York State to attend college in rural Maine. Here she met her future husband in the first week. They married two weeks after graduation and she has been writing ever since. Kathy is a highly versatile author. In addition to contemporary, historical and time-travel romance (also under the pen-name of Kaitlyn Gorton), she has written children’s fiction and non-fiction, biography and history. At present, she writes a contemporary cozy mystery series as Kaitlyn Dunnett and non-mystery historical novels as Kate Emerson. Kathy shares her home with her husband and three cats.

March 17, 2015

Murder Most Celtic, Book Recommendation!

by Celticlady

799520

Book Details
Series: Murder Most
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Cumberland House Publishing; First Edition edition (March 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1581821611
ISBN-13: 978-1581821611

Celtic culture is full of deep tradition and intense passion–from the legends of ghosts and banshees to blood feuds, these are the ingredients of great story-telling. In Murder Most Celtic: Tall Tales of Irish Mayhem, you will find thrilling tales of mystery and intrigue with an Irish flair. Here is the lore of the good and the bad, the light and the dark sides of human nature, mixed with the ancient Irish traditions. Stories like the “The Dublin Eye,” “So Where’ve You Buried the Missus Then Paddy!” and “Stealing the Dark” will entertain and spook you to your heart” delight.

The Irish are deeply passionate about their kinsmen, their country, their culture, and their way of life, as this collection of mysteries so richly illustrates. Slow to anger and equally slow to forgive at times, the children of the Emerald Isle have had planty of experience on both sides of the law. The sixteen stories of Irish crime and mystery in this volume tell of good and bad men and women–heroes and villians both. All feature characters for whom being Irish is more than just a state of mind–it’s a way of life.

Source: Goodreads, Amazon

shamrock divider st patricks

March 13, 2015

Irish Cures, Mystic Charms & Superstitions Book Recommendation for Friday the 13th!

by Celticlady

1603819

Book Details
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Sterling (June 30, 1991)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0806982004
ISBN-13: 978-0806982007

Lady Wilde, mother of famed author Oscar Wilde, over 100 years ago collected these hundreds of archaic cures, spells, homespun proverbs, visionary omens and prophecies.

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Jane Francesca Agnes, Lady Wilde (27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896) (born Jane Francesca Elgee in Dublin) was an Irish poet under the pen name “Speranza” and supporter of the nationalist movement; and had a special interest in Irish Fairy Tales, which she helped to gather. She married Sir William Wilde on 12 November 1851,

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