Thursday, March 7, 2019

Claiming My Place - HFVBT - Book Review

Claiming My Place

By Planaria Price with Helen Reichmann West

Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover, eBook, AudioBook
Genre: YA/NF/History/Holocaust/WWII

A Junior Library Guild selection,  Claiming My Place is the true story of a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by escaping to Nazi Germany and hiding in plain sight. 

 Meet Gucia Gomolinska: smart, determined, independent, and steadfast in the face of injustice. A Jew growing up in predominantly Catholic Poland during the 1920s and ’30s, Gucia studies hard, makes friends, falls in love, and dreams of a bright future. 

Her world is turned upside down when Nazis invade Poland and establish the first Jewish ghetto of World War II in her town of Piotrkow Trybunalski. As the war escalates, Gucia and her family, friends, and neighbors suffer starvation, disease, and worse. She knows her blond hair and fair skin give her an advantage, and eventually she faces a harrowing choice: risk either the uncertain horrors of deportation to a concentration camp, or certain death if she is caught resisting. She decides to hide her identity as a Jew and adopts the gentile name Danuta Barbara Tanska. Barbara, nicknamed Basia, leaves behind everything and everyone she has ever known in order to claim a new life for herself. 

Writing in the first person, author Planaria Price brings the immediacy of Barbara’s voice to this true account of a young woman whose unlikely survival hinges upon the same determination and defiant spirit already evident in the six-year-old girl we meet as this story begins. The final portion of this narrative, written by Barbara’s daughter, Helen Reichmann West, completes Barbara’s journey from her immigration to America until her natural, timely death. Includes maps and photographs.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble


“Price has boldly elected to tell the story in Basia’s own first-person, present-tense voice. The result is a dramatic, suspenseful account of survival in extremis, told in collaboration with Basia’s American daughter.” ―Booklist 

 “Price's rendering of West’s mother’s early life reads like suspenseful historical fiction, telling a rarely heard side of the Jewish experience during WWII . . . Family, friendships, and romance give poignancy to this unique coming-of-age story, which is further enhanced by maps, a glossary, and an afterword.” ―Publishers Weekly 

 “A rich exploration of a Holocaust survivor’s sheltered childhood, the atrocity that failed to destroy her, and her later life as an immigrant.” ―Kirkus Reviews 

 “I was completely engrossed by this drama of survival. Barbara Reichmann's story is quite extraordinary. It is sad, and terrible, and yet somehow captivating. The whole story of those who survived the Shoah by passing as Christians and working in Nazi Germany is an often forgotten part of the historical record.” ―Kai Bird, Executive Director, Leon Levy Center for Biography at CUNY Graduate Center, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer 

 “As occurs with The Diary of Anne Frank, this book merges the dire circumstances of the Holocaust with the tenuousness of being a teenager. But Claiming My Place expands the view provided in the diary for one critical reason. Anne Frank’s story is told within an isolated cocoon. In Barbara’s story, however, the Holocaust is in full view as her experiences unfold.” ―David H. Lindquist, Ph.D., IPFW College of Education and Public Policy / Regional Museum Educator, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 

 “This frightening true story of a young Jewish girl's flight from the deadly grip of the Nazis celebrates the surprising ingenuity and raw courage found only in the depths of the human spirit. Risking what few others dared, Barbara Reichmann, née Gucia Gomolinska, speaks with wisdom and uncommon self-awareness through her detailed, colorful, and evocative recollections from earliest childhood. In the final portion of this book, her daughter, Helen West, continues Barbara’s journey in an insightful and loving overview of Barbara’s life from the family’s arrival in New Orleans in 1951 until her death in 2007. This is a great read with the suspenseful, inspiring and uplifting appeal of a novel, about a character who will capture the reader’s heart.” ―Allan Holzman, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning director and editor (Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Holocaust, Old Man River, The Native Americans) 

 "Thanks to the detailed memories and the conversational tone, this book provides an engaging and informative reading experience with as much appeal as a fiction title. Recommended for most YA nonfiction collections." ―Magdalena Teske, West Chicago Public Library District School Library Journal 

 "This book was truly a celebration of the human spirit. What a gift she has for putting you in the story. Her way with words, plus her weaving of the actual events recounted to her by the unbelievably courageous Basia and her daughter Helen, was nothing short of magical. The included photographs and epilogue served to fully round out this amazing tale. I never wanted this book to end!" ―Rabbi Lynn Brody Slome

My Take 

I remember reading Eli Wisel's Night the first time and being blown away...emotionally, spiritually, even's not just the story that affects the reader, it's also (and possibly more so) the way the story is told.  The words, the emotion, the personal invitation to see, hear, smell, and feel the story...I'll be thinking about Claiming My Place for a long time.  
Claiming My Place is a must read for young adults and adults alike. 

About the Author

After graduating from Berkeley and earning a Master's Degree in English Literature from UCLA, Planaria Price began her career teaching English to adult immigrants in Los Angeles. She has written several textbooks for University of Michigan Press and has lectured at over 75 conferences. In addition to her passion for teaching and writing, Planaria has worked with her husband to save and restore over 30 Victorian and Craftsman homes in her historic Los Angeles neighborhood. Claiming My Place is her first book for young adults. 
 For more information, please visit Planaria's website at

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, March 1 Interview at Passages to the Past 
  Sunday, March 3 Review at Jorie Loves a Story Review at Locks, Hooks and Books 
  Monday, March 4 Interview at The Book Connection Review at So Many Books, So Little Time Tuesday, March 5 Feature at The Book Junkie Reads Feature at To Read, Or Not to Read Wednesday, March 6 Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views 
  Thursday, March 7 Review at Peppermint Ph.D. Feature at CelticLady's Reviews 
  Friday, March 8 Feature at T's Stuff Review at Hopewell's Public Library of Life 
  Sunday, March 10 Review at Clarissa Reads it All 
  Monday, March 11 Feature at Coffee and Ink Review at Jathan & Heather Review at Impressions In Ink 
  Tuesday, March 12 Feature at Maiden of the Pages 
  Wednesday, March 13 Review at Just One More Chapter


During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a signed copy of CLAIMING MY PLACE! 
To enter, please use the Gleam form below. 

Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – 
Giveaway is open to the US only. – 
Only one entry per household. – 
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – 
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Huntress - TLC Book Tours - Book Review

About The Huntress

by Kate Quinn

Paperback:560 pages
  Publisher:William Morrow Paperbacks (February 26, 2019) 

  One of Marie Claire's Best Women's Fiction of the year!

  One of Bookbub's biggest books of the year!

If you enjoyed The Tattooist of Auschwitz, read The Huntress by Kate Quinn." 
The Washington Post 

  From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, THE ALICE NETWORK, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America. In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted 

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina's bravery and cunning will keep her alive. 

 Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it. 

 Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiance', Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother's past only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear. 

 In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth. 


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn is a native of Southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance detailing the early years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in San Diego with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia. 

 Find out more about Kate at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Other Stops on the Tour

Instagram Features

Tuesday, February 26th: Instagram: @worldswithinpages
Tuesday, February 26th: Instagram: @theunreadshelf
Wednesday, February 27th: Instagram: @readingbringsjoy
Thursday, February 28th: Instagram: @happiestwhenreading
Friday, March 1st: Instagram: @laceybooklovers
Saturday, March 2nd: Instagram: @oddandbookish
Monday, March 4th: Instagram: @lavieestbooks
Monday, March 4th: Instagram:

Review Stops

Tuesday, February 26th: Instagram: @shereadswithcats
Thursday, February 28th: Instagram: @brookesbooksandbrews
Monday, March 4th: The Literary Llama
Tuesday, March 5th: Instagram: @libraryinprogress
Tuesday, March 5th: Peppermint PhD
Wednesday, March 6th: A Bookish Affair
Thursday, March 7th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Tuesday, March 12th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, March 13th: Into the Hall of Books
Thursday, March 14th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, March 15th: Instagram: @sjwonderlandz
Monday, March 18th: Instagram: @giuliland
Tuesday, March 19th: Instagram: @my_book_journey_
Thursday, March 21st: Instagram: @tbretc
Friday, March 22nd: Literary Quicksand
TBD: Wednesday, February 27th: Instagram: @ladyofthelibrary

Monday, February 25, 2019

Temptation Rag - HFVBT Book Review

Temptation Rag

A Novel by Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard

Publication Date: December 3, 2018
Belle Epoque Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 308 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

From the author of The Beauty Doctor, Finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award, 2017 AZ Literary Awards, and a Medallion Honoree of the Book Readers Appreciation Group.

Seventeen-year-old May Convery, unhappy with her privileged life in turn-of-the-century New York City, dreams of becoming a poet. When she meets the talented young Mike Bernard, an aspiring concert pianist, she immediately falls in love. But after their secret liaison is discovered, neither is prepared for the far-reaching consequences that will haunt them for decades. 

As Mike abandons serious music to ruthlessly defend his hard-won title, Ragtime King of the World, May struggles to find her voice as an artist and a woman. It is not until years after their youthful romance, when they cross paths again, that they must finally confront the truth about themselves and each other. But is it too late? 

 The world of ragtime is the backdrop for a remarkable story about the price of freedom, the longing for immortality, and the human need to find forgiveness. From vaudevilleís greatest stars to the geniuses of early African American musical theater, an unforgettable cast of real-life characters populates this richly-fictionalized historical saga.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters | IndieBound

Praise for Temptation Rag

"Fascinating real-life characters make Temptation Rag an emotional and page-turning story of passion, ambition, and desire." - Megan Chance, bestselling author of Bone River and Inamorata

 "Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard captures the style of the ragtime era. Music, art and culture spring from every page of this delightfully artistic work." - Readers' Favorite Book Review, 5 stars 

 "Terrific historical research and deft writing provide a striking portrait of racial and gender inequality in the ragtime era. An unforgettable and deeply human story." - Frederic Tulsky, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist "

Ms. Bernard weaves her knowledge of music with true historical characters and fictionalized ones into a syncopated symphony of human drama." -Kathryn Wood, author of Sea Snow: the gentle haunting of a 19th century lighthouse 

 "A gripping page-turner that has romance, history and music. A smart retelling of history through multiple points of view." - SA Examiner Book Review

Golden Lines

"Tell my father, Mike.  Tell him that you love me. That we're going to be together - forever." (97).

There was a word for girls like her. 
Ruined. (113)

So I do have a lot of time to myself.  I fear that I waste much of it, but I like to read. Poetry mostly. I used to fancy myself a poet," she added with a laugh. "Back in the days when I thought I had something important to say." (189)

"Have you ever wondered why the caged bird sings?" (199)

"You're not a tramp, May. You're a seeker.  It comes with being a writer, I'm afraid.  But it doesn't have to destroy you."  (373)

My Thoughts

Temptation Rag is about a lot...racial issues, women's independence, ragtime, New York City...but to me, it was mostly May's story. May's freedom story.  

May, as a wealthy heiress, sold to the highest bidder in return for a business partnership.
May, as a jilted young woman...who'd given her worth to a man who didn't love her after all.
May, the wife and mother, a womb and a ring...practicality...tradition...position...the way things are supposed to be.

May at the New York Public Library...well-known in New York literary activist for women's equality...published author...Actors Fund benefactor...independent woman.

The past finally put to rest.  

About the Author

Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard is an award-winning author of historical fiction. Her novel The Beauty Doctor is a suspenseful tale that takes place in the early days of cosmetic surgeryówhen the world of medicine was a bit like the Wild West and beauty doctors were the newest breed of outlaw. Temptation Rag: A Novel immerses readers in the bawdy atmosphere of vaudeville and early twentieth-century African American musical theater in a story about the price of freedom, the longing for immortality, and the human need to find forgiveness. Elizabeth currently lives in Arizona with her husband and their much-loved and very spoiled black Lab.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 18 Review at Passages to the Past  

Tuesday, February 19 Review at Pursuing Stacie 

Wednesday, February 20 Feature at The Book Junkie Reads Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, February 22 Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages 

 Saturday, February 23 Guest Post at The Chocolate Lady's Book Reviews 

 Monday, February 25 Review at Peppermint Ph.D. 

 Tuesday, February 26 Excerpt at CelticLady's Reviews 

  Wednesday, February 27 Interview at Passages to the Past 

  Friday, March 1 Review at View from the Birdhouse 

  Monday, March 4 Review at Macsbooks 

  Wednesday, March 6 Review at A Chick Who Reads 

  Friday, March 8 Excerpt at Broken Teepee 

  Tuesday, March 12 Review at Reader then Blogger 

  Friday, March 15 Review at Coffee and Ink


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away copies of Bernard's other novel, The Beauty Doctor. One paperback and two eBooks are up for grabs. 
To enter, please use the Gleam form below. 

  Giveaway Rules 

 Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 15th. 
You must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway is open to US 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. Temptation Rag

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Innocence Lost - HFVBT Review

Innocence Lost 

by Sherilyn Decter

Publication Date: February 21, 2019

eBook & Paperback; 339 Pages

Series: Bootleggers Chronicles Series, Book One

Genre: Historical Fiction/Crime/Women's Fiction

In a city of bootleggers and crime, one woman must rely on a long-dead lawman to hunt down justice Philadelphia, 1924. 
Maggie Barnes doesn't have much left. 
After the death of her husband, she finds herself all alone to care for her young son and look after their rundown house. 
As if that weren't bad enough, Prohibition has turned her neighborhood into a bootlegger's playground. 
To keep the shoddy roof over their heads, she has no choice but to take on boarders with questionable ties. 
When her son's friend disappears, Maggie suspects the worst. And local politicians and police don't seem to have any interest in an investigation. 
With a child's life on the line, Maggie takes the case and risks angering the enemy living right under her nose. 
Maggie's one advantage may be her new found friend: the ghost of a Victorian-era cop. With his help, can she find justice in a lawless city? 
 Innocence Lost is the first novel in the Bootleggers Chronicles, a series of historical fiction tales. If you like headstrong heroines, Prohibition-era criminal underworlds, and just a touch of the paranormal, then you'll love Sherilyn Decter's gripping tale.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Sherilyn Decter is a writer, researcher, and lover of historical fiction. Her work is set in the Roaring Twenties and if you like feisty and determined heroines, complex cover-ups, Prohibition stories about criminal underworlds, police and political corruption, then youíre going to love Sherilynís grand gangster tales. For more information, please visit Sherilyn Decter's website. You can also find her on FacebookInstagram, Goodreads and Pinterest.

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, February 15 

Saturday, February 16 
Review at Pursuing Stacie 
Excerpt at Bookish Rantings 
Review at A Chick Who Reads 

Sunday, February 17 
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages 

Monday, February 18 
Review at 100 Pages a Day 
Excerpt at Old Timey Books 

Tuesday, February 19 
Review at Peppermint Ph.D. 
Review at Reader then Blogger 

Wednesday, February 20 
Interview at The Old Shelter 
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books 

Thursday, February 21 
Review at Macsbooks 
Review at The Old Shelter 

Friday, February 22 
Review at A Book Geek 
Review at Coffee and Ink 


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two prize packs of a copy of the book, a set of Paper Dolls, and a Jazz Age Fashion Coloring Book! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules ñ Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter. ñ Giveaway is open internationally. ñ Only one entry per household. ñ 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. ñ Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Sisters Hemingway by Annie England Noblin - TLC Book Tours Review

The Sisters Hemingway by Annie England Noblin

Paperback:384 pages 
Publisher:William Morrow Paperbacks (February 12, 2019) 

From the Publisher

  For fans of Susan Mallery, Kristan Higgins, or Susan Wiggs, this is a novel for anyone who loves stories about sisters, dogs, and family secrets.

 The Hemingway Sisters of Cold River, Missouri are local legends. Raised by a mother obsessed with Ernest Hemingway, they were named after the author's four wives Hadley, Pfeiffer, Martha, and Mary. The sisters couldn't be more different or more alike. 
Now they're back in town, reunited to repair their fractured relationships. 
 Hadley is the poised, polished wife of a senator.  
Pfeiffer is a successful New York book editor. 
 Martha has skyrocketed to Nashville stardom. 
 They each have a secret a marriage on the rocks, a job lost, a stint in rehab, and they haven't been together in years. 
 Together, they must stay in their childhood home, faced with a puzzle that may affect all their futures. 
As they learn the truth of what happened to their mother and their youngest sister, Mary, they rekindle the bonds they had as children, bonds that have long seemed broken. 
With the help of neighbors, friends, love interests old and new and one endearing and determined Basset Hound, the Sisters Hemingway learn that he happiness that has appeared so elusive may be right here at home, waiting to be claimed. 


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Take 

I already knew I would like this book just by the content...I also have 3 daughters who couldn't be more alike and at the same time, so different.
I loved the premise of each "escaping" home and coming back to find each other again, now that they're old enough to realizes their differences don't mean they have no connection.
Childhood trauma flows through this story to me.  I never faulted any of sisters for their actions.  In my mind, they were each just trying to survive in their own way.  I loved the sisters and would love for Noblin to write more about them.  I found myself emotionally attached by the end.  One of my favorite scenes is when the sisters are trying to get up in the attic...these sophisticated worldly women and their various body parts are hanging from the ceiling trying to get the ladder to spring...I laughed out loud here because so much of this novel is about what happens when we go home...when we've lost ourselves in the world...or think we have...and then find out that our true selves have really been there all the time.  We just needed our sisters, lifetime friends, and honesty to bring our selves back around again.
I'm not a romance reader, but the romance in this novel touched even me.  We all have those we left behind, and I think all of us wonders from time to time what would happen if we went back.
I did like the way Noblin ended the mystery.  I thought I knew what was going to happen, and I was close, but I didn't figure it out completely. A very nice wrap up that made perfect sense with the rest of the novel.  Such sadness but such closure at the same time.  The sisters came from a long line of broken.
And they've survived and will thrive from now on...together :) 

I liked this one :)

If you like narratives similar to Gilmore Girls or Sweet Home Alabama, I think you'll like this one too :) 

The Author

Annie England Noblin

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs. 

 Follow Annie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Bittersweet Brooklyn - HFVBT - Book Review

Bittersweet Brooklyn by Thelma Adams

Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Lake Union Publishing
Paperback, eBook & Audio
Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher's Summary

In turn-of-the century New York, a mobster rises—and his favorite sister struggles between loyalty and life itself. How far will she go when he commits murder? After midnight, Thelma Lorber enters her brother Abie’s hangout under the Williamsburg Bridge, finding Jewish mobster Louis “Pretty” Amberg in a puddle of blood on the kitchen floor. She could flee. Instead, in the dark hours of that October 1935 night before the dawn of Murder, Inc., she remains beside the fierce, funny brother who has nurtured and protected her since childhood. There are many kinds of love a woman can feel for a man, but few compare to that of the baby sister for her older brother. For Thelma, a wild widow tethered to a young son, Abie is the center of her world. But that love is about to undo everything she holds dear… Flipping the familiar script of The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and The Godfather, Bittersweet Brooklyn explores the shattering impact of mob violence on the women expected to mop up the mess. Winding its way over decades, this haunting family saga plunges readers into a dangerous past—revealed through the perspective of a forgotten yet vibrant woman.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Praise for Bittersweet Brooklyn

“Thelma Adams is our new Dickens in her effervescently vivid tale of Jewish hardscrabble living, gangsters, torn-apart families, and a young woman desperate for love, family, and a stable future. Set in a 1920s and 30s Brooklyn so rich, raw, and bristling with life that you can taste the brine on the deli pickles and see the flasks of whiskey hidden in a garter, this is the kind of novel that’s lived, rather than read.” — Caroline Leavitt, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author “Smart and complex,

Bittersweet Brooklyn is a riveting journey into a glamorous and deadly underworld. Fascinating characters and a backdrop of New York in the 1920’s kept me churning through pages. Add in twist after twist to an already vibrant plot, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect read! No one writes women in history better than Thelma Adams. I loved this book!” —Heather Burch, bestselling author of In the Light of the Garden

 “Bookies! Bubbes! Bossy big-mouths! Thelma Adams’ Bittersweet Brooklyn takes you back to an early twentieth-century Williamsburg teeming not with too-cool-for-school millennials, but with rough-and-tumble Jewish and Italian immigrants. You’ll race through this raucous historical saga, admiring its gritty detail and street-smart dialogue. Inspired by real events, Thelma Adams brings to life an unforgettable family ruled by filial love divided by biting dysfunction.” —Sally Koslow, author of Another Side of Paradise

 “Thelma Adams has found her niche as a wonderfully vivid historical chronicler of the female spirit. Her tale of a Jewish girl making her way amid gangster-studded NYC is a marvelous must-read.” —Michael Musto, columnist

 “Bittersweet Brooklyn is gripping from page one. An intimate look at the dynamics of a broken family in gangster-riddled New York, it will have you rooting for protagonist and antagonist alike as wounds are open, healed, scarred, and exposed. With some of the finest dialogue I've ever come across, this is one I will not soon forget.” —Camille Di Maio, bestselling author of The Memory of Us

 “Set in the savage underbelly of a Mafia-linked social club and amusement park, Bittersweet Brooklyn tells the sizzling and unforgettable family saga of a brother and sister who must pit survival against loyalty, desire, and compassion.” —Susan Henderson, author of The Flicker of Old Dreams

 “Terrific! A great story, suspense, a vibrant heroine, complex and colorful supporting characters and amazing period details: I couldn’t put it down.” —Caryn James, cultural critic and author of Glorie and What Caroline Knew

 “A searing, layered portrait of a Brooklyn family divided against itself, this novel brims with heartbreak, history, empathy and grace.” —Greer Macallister, bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie and Girl in Disguise

 “A fresh, fierce retelling of the crime family saga from the female point of view.” —Paula Froelich, New York Times bestselling author of Mercury in Retrograde

 “A gorgeously written and gritty American immigrant tale about broken homes and broken hearts, and how the sins within a family can reverberate across generations. Riveting!” —Jane Healey, bestselling author of The Saturday Evening Girls Club

 “A noir coming-of-age story with a feisty and unforgettable heroine.” —Meryl Gordon, New York Times bestselling author of The Biography of Bunny Mellon

About the Author 

Thelma Adams is the author of the best selling historical novel The Last Woman Standing and Playdate, which Oprah magazine described as "a witty debut novel." In addition to her fiction work, Adams is a prominent American film critic and an outspoken voice in the Hollywood community. She has been the in-house film critic for Us Weekly and The New York Post, and has written essays, celebrity profiles and reviews for Yahoo! Movies,The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Parade, Marie Claire and The Huffington Post. Adams studied history at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was valedictorian, and received her MFA from Columbia University. She lives in upstate New York with her family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 28 
Review at Pursuing Stacie 

  Tuesday, January 29 
Interview at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, January 30 
Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read 

  Thursday, January 31 
Review & Interview at Passages to the Past 

  Friday, February 1 
Excerpt at Just One More Chapter 

  Saturday, February 2 
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages 

  Sunday, February 3 
Feature at Queen of Random 

  Tuesday, February 5 
Review at Creating Herstory 

  Wednesday, February 6 
Review at Bibliophile Reviews 

  Thursday, February 7 
Review at Peppermint Ph.D. 
Excerpt at Old Timey Books 
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather 

  Friday, February 8 
Review at The Lit Bitch

Sunday, February 10 
Feature at What Is That Book About 

  Monday, February 11 
Review at Macsbooks 

  Tuesday, February 12 
Review at Bookish 

  Wednesday, February 13 
Review at Cover To Cover Cafe 

  Thursday, February 14 
Review at Coffee and Ink 

  Friday, February 15 
Excerpt at Broken Teepee 
Review at Comet Readings 
Review at CelticLady's Reviews 
Excerpt at Spellbound by History 
Review at Oh, The Books She Will Read


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies and one Audio Book! 

To enter, please use the Gleam form below. 

Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 15th. 
You must be 18 or older to enter. – 
Giveaway is open to US 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.

Embed Code: Bittersweet Brooklyn

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Eulogist by Terry Gamble - TLC Book Tours Review

The Eulogist by Terry Gamble

• Hardcover: 320 pages 
• Publisher: William Morrow; 
1st Edition edition (January 22, 2019)

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Publisher's Summary 

 From the author of The Water Dancers and Good Family, an exquisitely crafted novel, set in Ohio in the decades leading to the Civil War, that illuminates the immigrant experience, the injustice of slavery, and the debts human beings owe to one another, witnessed through the endeavors of one Irish-American family. 

 Cheated out of their family estate in Northern Ireland after the Napoleonic Wars, the Givens family arrives in America in 1819. But in coming to this new land, they have lost nearly everything. Making their way west they settle in Cincinnati, a burgeoning town on the banks of the mighty Ohio River whose rise, like the Givenses’ own, will be fashioned by the colliding forces of Jacksonian populism, religious evangelism, industrial capitalism, and the struggle for emancipation. After losing their mother in childbirth and their father to a riverboat headed for New Orleans, James, Olivia, and Erasmus Givens must fend for themselves. 

Ambitious James eventually marries into a prosperous family, builds a successful business, and rises in Cincinnati society. Taken by the spirit and wanderlust, Erasmus becomes an itinerant preacher, finding passion and heartbreak as he seeks God. Independent-minded Olivia, seemingly destined for spinsterhood, enters into a surprising partnership and marriage with Silas Orpheus, a local doctor who spurns social mores. 
 When her husband suddenly dies from an infection, Olivia travels to his family home in Kentucky, where she meets his estranged brother and encounters the horrors of slavery firsthand. After abetting the escape of one slave, Olivia is forced to confront the status of a young woman named Tilly, another slave owned by Olivia’s brother-in-law. When her attempt to help Tilly ends in disaster, Olivia tracks down Erasmus, who has begun smuggling runaways across the river—the borderline between freedom and slavery. 

 As the years pass, this family of immigrants initially indifferent to slavery will actively work for its end—performing courageous, often dangerous, occasionally foolhardy acts of moral rectitude that will reverberate through their lives for generations to come.

Book Trailer

My Take

There's nothing like a generational family saga that's also steeped in history, historical characters, events, and a deep look at the tragedy of "the good ole days" with lack of sanitation, corpse stealing, rampant spread of disease, manipulation of women and children, and the absolute gut-wrenching and mind boggling horrors of slavery.  
Along with the evils of the day came those like James, Olivia, and Erasmus Givens...who find themselves unable to turn away, even as life deals them personally with their own losses. The Abolitionist Movement is well underway...but things are never as simple as they seem.  How does one family fight for right in a world where the laws don't support right? 

If you enjoy books about family, religion, the business of artificial light in America (candle-making and supply, gaslight, and at the end a teaser for the electric light that is to come), immigrants, literature, early teaching and medicine, and settler life in America, you'll dig right into The Eulogist as I did. 

Golden Lines

I could not help but agree with Owen that religion was divisive.  The Methodists looked down their noses at the waterlogged Baptists; the Presbyterians scorned the Catholics; and no one put stock in the Quakers, who were, to a one, abolitionists. (68)

Such was the sensibility of Cincinnati that a woman of contrarian opinion could drive away commerce like pigs before a stick. (71)

"In the evenings, Miss Givens, I steal corpses." (88)

Summoning the words of Fanny Wright, I raised my chin. "It does seem obscene to own another soul." (93)

"If there is a God - and like you, I wonder - would He not want us to turn our efforts toward saving each other rather than madly fretting if we ourselves are saved?" (95)

Indeed, it was becoming de rigueur for young women to hack off their tresses and sell them, particularly when they had no other means of support.  Flyers went out soliciting locks, countered by tracts that compared the practice to prostitution. (119)

"We loved Tilly very much, Mr. Handsome," said Hatsepha. "It was an outrage what was done to her." (238)

As the horse began to trot, Erasmus doffed his old black preacher's hat and threw it into the air.  It spun high, caught the sunlight, seeming to hover, until the boy broke loose and ran to catch it. (253)

I took off my spectacles, feeling suffocated as if by a miasma on the river.  "The article," I said, "does not mention a daughter." (287)

The Author 

Terry Gamble is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan. She lives in Sonoma and San Francisco, California.
Find out more about Terry at her website.
Other Stops on the Tour

Tuesday, January 22nd: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, January 23rd: Instagram: @dropandgivemenerdy
Friday, January 25th: Instagram: @giuliland
Monday, January 28th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Tuesday, January 29th: Instagram: @lifebetweenwords
Thursday, January 31st: Peppermint PhD
Friday, February 1st: Broken Teepee
Monday, February 4th: Instagram: @readvoraciously
Tuesday, February 5th: Instagram: @wellreadmama
Wednesday, February 6th: What Is That Book About

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