THE GLOVEMAKER by Ann Weisgarber RELEASES TODAY!!!

Title: THE GLOVEMAKER

Author: ANN WEISGARBER

Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION

Length: 336 PAGES

Publisher: SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: FEBRUARY 19, 2019

ISBN: 9781510737839

Price: $24.99 USD (Hardcover)

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS⭐⭐⭐⭐

TODAY IS RELEASE DAY FOR THIS HISTORICAL FICTION TALE.

TO READ MY FULL REVIEW, CLICK HERE.

After you finish reading this book, please come back here to let me know your thoughts on it.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL by Kate Mascarenhas RELEASES TODAY – This book focuses on diverse Female protagonists. A MUST READ – BUY YOURS TODAY!!!

Title: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL

Author: KATE MASCARENHAS

Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 320 PAGES

Publisher: CROOKED LANE BOOKS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: FEBRUARY 12, 2019

ISBN: 9781683319443 (Hardcover)

Price: $26.99 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.

MY REVIEW:

“We need fictional and real role models for women in science.”

The year is 1967. Margaret, Barbara, Grace and Lucille are all very different women, but they have one massive commonality – together they discovered time travel.

“Margaret was a baroness turned cosmologist. Lucille had come from the Toxteth slums to make radio waves travel faster than light. Grace – who never gave the same account of her history twice – was an expert in the behaviour of matter. And the last was Barbara: the baby of the group.. She specialized in nuclear fission. All four women were combining their knowledge in a new, and unique, project.”

When they were ready to debut their time machine to the Press, one of the women has a breakdown on national television. The others force her off the team to protect what they see as the integrity of their invention. Of course, this means that despite her contributions, one woman is left in obscurity while the other three team members go on to become famous.

Fast forward fifty years. Time travel has become BIG business.

Someone leaves a mysterious newspaper clipping for Ruby Rubello’s “Grandma Bee,” (Barbara who was the woman forced off the original team) Ruby becomes obsessed with the information contained in that article. This leads to fascinating and sometimes sinister events.

B

ecause this is a time travel novel, it skips between multiple people and multiple years. It could easily have become confusing and difficult to follow for the reader, but author Kate Mascarenhas has somehow kept that from happening.

What I love the most about THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL is the fact that all the lead characters are female and, not only that, but they are from varying races and of diverse sexuality.

Despite the fact that this is her debut novel, the author is able to keep the story flowing perfectly despite multiple characters and multiple timelines which would be a challenge for even a seasoned author. This bodes well for her future projects and I can’t wait to discover what she comes up with next.

I rate this book as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I recommend it to readers who love a good mystery as well as those who are interested in time travel and in books containing strong female characters.

QUOTE:

Life’s better with a few risks than a lot of regrets.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kate Mascarenhas is a writer.

Born in 1980, she is of mixed heritage (white Irish father, brown British mother) and has family in Ireland and the Republic of Seychelles.

She studied English at Oxford and Applied Psychology at Derby. Her PhD, in literary studies and psychology, was completed at Worcester.

Since 2017 Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Previously she has been an advertising copywriter, bookbinder, and doll’s house maker. She lives in the English midlands with her partner.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

AMAZON

HARPER COLLINS

#ThePsychologyOfTimeTravel

#NetGalley

RIVER PEOPLE by Margaret Lukas – Historical fiction – A fascinating tale of struggle and survival in the 1890s

Title: RIVER PEOPLE

Author: MARGARET LUKAS

Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 375 PAGES

Publisher: BQB PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: FEBRUARY 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1945448225

Price: $18.95 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Set in Nebraska in the late 1890s, seventeen-year-old Effie and eleven-year-old Bridget must struggle to endure at a time when women and children have few rights and society looks upon domestic abuse as a private, family matter.

The story is told through the eyes of the girls as they learn to survive under grueling circumstances.

MY REVIEW:

What first drew my attention to RIVER PEOPLE by Margaret Lukas was the wonderful cover. Seeing the shack near the water, it evokes a feeling of isolation and even somehow emits a sense of desperation – all that just from the front cover.

Once I started reading this book, I was introduced to Bridget (who is an eleven year-old half-orphan), and to Effie, who is the unwanted seventeen year-old daughter of a settler family.

The lives of girls and women in the 1890s were not their own. Females began life as property of their father, which only changed when she was married. At that point she became the property of her husband. Women could not vote since they were considered “non-persons.” Of course, in modern North American society, this seems ridiculous, but it was reality and very few people questioned it. In fact, if a man were to beat up his wife, the law would ignore it as being “none of their business.” Ridiculous I know, but that was reality and few people questioned it.

I do not think I would have done well living in such a society. In fact, I would probably end up like so many other women of that time who were labelled as “incorrigible” or as having “hysteria.” If a woman was so designated, her husband or family would have her admitted to an insane asylum to live out her days being considered crazy. Although this does not happen in this book, both Effie and Bridget must have known that it was a possibility, and that their fate rested in the hands of a man – one that neither of them liked very much.

Sixty four year-old Reverend Jackdaw has his heart set on building a church in Omaha, Nebraska and in having numerous sons to ensure his vision comes to fruition. To do this, he needs a wife, one young enough to bear multiple children. He sees his chance to begin fulfilling what he thinks of as his destiny when he stops at the farm belonging to Effie’s family. He convinces her father to allow them to wed by telling him that the Reverend and his new bride would be leaving for Omaha shortly after the ceremony and the consummation of the marriage.

When procuring supplies for their trek to Nebraska, Reverend Jackdaw comes across a sign offering “Free Orphans.” This is how Bridget becomes his adopted daughter. He sees her not as a person, but as a way to keep watch on his youthful bride. She tries to introduce herself, but he doesn’t care what her name is and tells her that from that day forward, her name would be “Rooster” due to her red hair.

The story then follows the unlikely trip as they trek through the wilderness and arrive at the “house” on the river that Reverend Jackdaw is being loaned the use of for free.

Author Margaret Lukas does a phenomenal job at world building and I felt as if I had been transported back in time. I loved the way she built up each character and they became real to me and I was invested in their survival. I just couldn’t put this book down and read the entire 375 in a single weekend.

Anyone who is curious as to how “real” people lived in the pioneer era should read this book. Unfortunately, many historical fiction authors take the easy route and choose to make their characters wealthy, but this just does not reflect the lives of average or poor people. To make a modern day analogy, it would be like writing about the Kardashians rather than a regular, every day person of middle class.

I enjoyed this book tremendously and as such, I am rating it as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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***Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Margaret Lukas is an instructor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She teaches creative writing in the Writer’s Workshop Program. She received her BFA from UNO’s Writer’s Workshop in 2004. In 2007 Margaret received her MFA from Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington.

She is a recipient of a 2009 Nebraska Art Council Individual Artist Fellowship.

She is a contributor to NEBRASKAland magazine and an editor for the quarterly literary journal, Fine Lines. Her writing also appears online and in the 2012 anthology, On Becoming, published by the University of Nebraska Press.

Her award-winning short story, “The Yellow Bird,” was made into The Yellow Bird, a short filmand premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Farthest House was her first novel.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

4 Stars for PAPER WIFE by Laila Ibrahim – A timely tale of what it was like to move to a new country, where you knew noone and didn’t speak the language. NEW RELEASE!!!

Title: PAPER WIFE

Author: LAILA IBRAHIM

Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION, DIVERSE FICTION, MULTICULTURAL FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 298 PAGES

Publisher: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: OCTOBER 30, 2018

ISBN: 9781503904576

Price: $14.95 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

From the bestselling author of Yellow Crocus comes a heart-wrenching story about finding strength in a new world.

Southern China, 1923. Desperate to secure her future, Mei Ling’s parents arrange a marriage to a widower in California. To enter the country, she must pretend to be her husband’s first wife—a paper wife.

On the perilous voyage, Mei Ling takes an orphan girl named Siew under her wing. Dreams of a better life in America give Mei Ling the strength to endure the treacherous journey and detainment on Angel Island. But when she finally reaches San Francisco, she’s met with a surprise. Her husband, Chinn Kai Li, is a houseboy, not the successful merchant he led her to believe.

Mei Ling is penniless, pregnant, and bound to a man she doesn’t know. Her fragile marriage is tested further when she discovers that Siew will likely be forced into prostitution. Desperate to rescue Siew, she must convince her husband that an orphan’s life is worth fighting for. Can Mei Ling find a way to make a real family—even if it’s built on a paper foundation?

MY REVIEW:

With immigration currently being a hot button issue in the United States and many other countries around the world, the publication of this book could not be more timely.

Although this story begins ninety years ago in 1923, there are many alarming similarities between the discrimination faced by immigrants during that time period and the discrimination faced by those who have chosen to emigrate to the United States in modern times.

Mei Ling was happily living out her young life in China when the matchmaker arrived at the door of her parent’s home. A suitable match had been found for Mei Ling’s older sister and the wedding date was set. But, as fate would have it, her sister fell ill and her parents told Mei Ling that she would have to take her sister’s place.

This deception early in the story is only one of many deceptions and ‘white lies’ that occur throughout the book.

It is obvious that author Laila Ibrahim did her research for this book as the facts and traditions written about in this tale match perfectly with historic accounts from those who actually did leave China in hopes of a better life in the United States.

Laila Ibrahim’s writing style and subject matter reminds me of author Lisa See.

I enjoyed the story even though I found one event to be completely implausible. Despite that, the author has written a book that anyone who wonders what life might have been like for the huge wave of Asian immigrants who arrived en masse in the years following World War I will want to read.

I believe that by reading books such as PAPER WIFE, people will gain, at the very least, a small measure of empathy for people whose cultures and/or backgrounds are different from their own.

Reading stories like this one, prove to readers that people are more similar than they are different. We all want the same thing. We want a safe and comfortable place to sleep, a good education for our children, and a job that allows us to provide for our families.

In PAPER WIFE, Mei Ling was detained on Angel Island and interrogated by officials who used intimidation and threats to try to force her to change her story or to catch her in a lie. This is a true reflection of what immigrants were subjected to in 1925.

Chinese immigrants on Angel Island

Poetry carved into the walls at Angel Island

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We need to learn from the past. If we do not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.

I rate PAPER WIFE as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laila Ibrahim grew up in Whittier, California on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County, and moved to Oakland, California to attend Mills College where she studied Psychology and Child Development. After getting a Master’s Degree in Human Development, she realized she wanted to do more hands on work with children, and opened up her own preschool: Woolsey Children’s School.

Her education and experiences as an educator and parent provide ample for her writing – especially her study of Attachment Theory and multiculturalism.

She identifies as a devout Unitarian Universalist – which is sort of like being a radical moderate – and worked as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland for five years.

She lives in a small co-housing community in Berkeley with her wife, Rinda, a public school administrator. She the proud mother of two wonderful young adult daughters and the not-so-proud mother of a rambunctious mini-Aussies.

Laila self-published Yellow Crocus in 2011 after agents repeatedly told her that no one would want to read a story about the love between an enslaved black woman and her privileged white charge. Over the years the readers have proven them wrong. She became a full-time writer in 2015.

Living Right, her second novel, is set in 2004, but with a similar theme: loving across difference. It goes beyond the headline to reveal the life and death stakes when a devoted mother struggles to reconcile her evangelical Christian beliefs with her son’s sexual orientation.

Mustard Seed continues with the lives of the Freedman and Johnson families after the Civil War.

Paper Wife tells the story of Mei Ling, a young woman forced by social upheaval to marry a stranger and immigrate from Southern China through Angel Island to San Francisco in 1923.

To read an interview with the author click HERE.

Laila loves calling or Skyping into bookclubs and public speaking. She can be contacted at ldibrahim@gmail.com

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

AMAZON

HISTORIC PHOTOS

Photos obtained from the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

S

OME OF THE POEMS LEFT BEHIND:

(Source: Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation)

A Few Selected Poems


獨坐稅關中,
心內起不痛。
亦因家道貧,
遠遊不近親。
兄弟來到叫,
只得上埠行。
黑鬼無道理,
唐人要掃地。
每日食兩餐,
何時轉回返。

– 辛亥年七月十二日李字題寧邑
Poem 3

Hear Poem 3 Read In Toishanese.

Translation
Sitting alone in the customs office,
How could my heart not ache?
Had my family not been poor,
I would not have traveled far away from home.
It was my elder brother who urged me
To embark on a voyage to this shore.
The black devil* here is unjust-
He forces the Chinese to clean the floor.
Two meals a day are provided,
But I wonder, when will I be homeward bound?

– Lee from Toishan District, September 4, 1911

*A pejorative to refer to those of African descent-here, presumably, an African Canadian working at the immigration station directed the detainees to sweep the floors.


妻囑情
出門求財為家窮,
把正心頭在路中。
路上野花君莫取,
為家自有係妻奴。
臨行知囑情千萬,
莫作奴言耳過風。
家中妻兒係莫掛,
勤儉二年掃祖宗。
妻兒衣裳無一件,
米盒掃來無半筒。
家中屋舍無間好,
爛溶爛揸穿爛帘。
夫係昔日都尋賭,
不念奴奴淚飄飄。
多得親兄來打稅,
莫學忘叔大恩公。

– 辛亥七月十二日到李字題寧邑
Poem 4

Hear Poem 4 Read in Toishanese.

Translation
My Wife’s Admonishment
We are poor, so you’re leaving home to seek wealth;
Keep hold of propriety while on this journey.
Never pick wildflowers along the road,*
For you have your own wife at home!
Before you depart, I admonish you a thousand times;
Don’t let my words just whistle past your ears.
Don’t worry about us, be diligent and frugal,
And two years hence return to sweep the ancestors’ tombs.
Your wife and children haven’t a thing to wear;
Not half a cup of rice can be scooped from the pot.
Our house and rooms are dilapidated;
Our housewares are worn, and the curtains torn.
In the past, you did nothing but gamble;
You never thought of me and my flowing tears.
You are fortunate your elder brother has paid the taxes-
Always remember your great debt to him!

– Lee from Toishan District, Arrived July 12, 1911

Footnotes: To engage in romantic/sexual affairs while away from home.

THE WITCH ELM by Bestselling Author TANA FRENCH Audiobook Review

Title: THE WITCH ELM

Author: TANA FRENCH

Narrator: PAUL NUGENT

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Length: 22 HOURS, 8 MINUTES

Publisher: PENGUIN AUDIO

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Purchased from: Audible.com

Release Date: OCTOBER 9, 2018

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.
*

MY REVIEW:

Phenomenal. Intriguing. Unconventional. Thrilling. Astonishing.

All these words and more apply to Tana French’s novel, THE WITCH ELM.

At it’s core, this book is a modern day whodunit, a thriller of epic proportions, but it is also so much more.

This book is a character study, a tale of teen angst, the story of a family rallying together in the midst of a horrific medical diagnosis. It is the story of a romance. This is a book about siblings, cousins, friends and how relationships can change over time and how they stay the same. It is also a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

This is truly a book that has everything. I enjoyed listening to it immensely. The story takes place in Ireland and having a narrator with an Irish accent gave this book a sense of place and added authenticity to the audiobook.

The story has plenty twists and turns, some which were expected and many that were not.

Tana French has created characters so realistic that you almost expect to run into one of them on the street.

At just over 22 hours of listening time, this is not a short audiobook and you would think that 22 hours would be too long, however, you would be wrong. In fact, I didn’t want this story to end. I had become invested in the character’s futures.

The Publisher has created a reader’s guide for this book which can be found and downloaded HERE.

My favorite character was Uncle Hugo. On the surface he seems like a giant bore. But as you learn more about him, you start to realize that he is like an onion with many layers, some quite shocking. He has a passion for genealogy research and was able to parlay that into a career as a Genealogist. The author is somehow able to make this career choice seem interesting to listeners and Hugo’s research into his client’s history is an interesting side storyline.

I rate THE WITCH ELM as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I also give a 5 STAR rating to the narrator whose Irish accent offers listeners authenticity as well as a sense of place. His pacing is sheer perfection. Listeners are able to easily distinguish between character voices which is a huge plus in my opinion.

All in all, I highly recommend this audiobook to readers and listeners from the ages of 16 and up.

Tana French was new to me before experiencing “The Witch Elm” audiobook, but I will be on the lookout for more books from this author in the future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tana French is the author of The Witch Elm, In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place and The Trespasser.

Her books have won awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry Awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction.

She lives in Dublin with her family.

AUTHOR NOTE:

“There’s one thing that no one I know, including me, ever has enough of: time. Everyone has at least three things they should be doing with every minute, and everyone could do with about six more hours in the day. So I’m very aware that when you take a chance on one of my books, it’s not just your money that you’re putting on the line; it’s your time, which is probably even more precious. I want to thank you, so much, for taking that chance; for your wonderful support, which never stops taking my breath away. Here’s to all of you. I’ll do my absolute best not to waste your time.”

Tana French in The New Yorker

‘The Trespasser’ begs us to take crime fiction seriously

The Millions Interviews Tana French

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To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

AUDIBLE

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AMAZON

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“A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

  • Quotes:

    The thing is, I suppose,” he said, “that one gets into the habit of being oneself. It takes some great upheaval to crack that shell and force us to discover what else might be underneath. What if I never got another day in my life when I was normal again?

    Once the fear took hold, I was fucked. I’d never known anything like it could exist: all-consuming, ravenous, a whirling black vortex that sucked me under so completely and mercilessly that it truly felt like I was being devoured alive, bones splintered, marrow sucked. After an eternity (lying in bed with my heart jackhammering, adrenaline firing me like a strobe light, feeling the last few threads that held my mind together stretch to a snapping point) something would happen to break the vortex’s hold—a nurse coming in so that I had to make mechanical cheerful chitchat, an uncontrollable rush of sleep—and I would clamber up out of it, shaky and weak as a half-drowned animal. But even when the fear receded for a while, it was always there: dark, misshapen, taloned, hanging somewhere above and behind me, waiting for its next moment to drop onto my back and dig in deep.

    ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

    https://vimeo.com/178172746

    To learn more about this Narrator, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    AUDIBLE

    LINKEDIN

    VIMEO

    FACEBOOK

    YOUTUBE

    AMAZON

    ageism #Irish #Ireland #braininjury #mystery #igreads #amreading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booknerd #booknerdigans #thriller #newbook #book #newrelease #newaudiobook #audiobook #audiobooks #diversity #diversebooks #IrishAuthor #tanafrench #paulnugent #narrator #audiobooknarrator #igauthor #ignarrator #instalike #Instagramhub #skull #artgallery #pr #cousins #friends #audible #iloveaudiobooks #bookreview #audiobookreview #bookreviewer #bookblogger @audible #comingout #review #LGBT #LGBTQ #headinjury #narrator #Irishnarrator #braintumor #cancer #family #familyties #grief #grieving #death #murder #mystery #thriller #5Stars #5StarRead #5StarBook #thewitchelm #elmtree #witchelm #ignarrator #mustread #bookworm #bookworms #bookcommunity #bookaddict #bookaholic #bookgram #booknerdigans #booklovers #bookobsessed #bookhoarder #tanafrench #mystery #coverlove #biblio #bookphotography #cozyreading #bookishcanadians #instaread #igbooks #igreads #tbr #flatlaystyle #instabooks #books #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookclub #bookclubofinstagram #currentlyreading #amreading #ilovebooks #booknerdigans #booknerd #bookobsessed #bookish

    THE GLOVEMAKER by Historical Fiction Author Ann Weisgarber is coming soon – Mark your calendars

    Title: THE GLOVEMAKER

    Author: ANN WEISGARBER

    Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION

    Length: 336 PAGES

    Publisher: SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: FEBRUARY 19, 2019

    ISBN: 9781510737839

    Price: $24.99 USD (Hardcover)

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    DESCRIPTION:

    In the inhospitable lands of the Utah Territory, during the winter of 1888, thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler waits for her husband, Samuel, to return home from his travels as a wheelwright. It is now the depths of winter, Samuel is weeks overdue, and Deborah is getting worried.

    Deborah lives in Junction, a tiny town of seven Mormon families scattered along the floor of a canyon, and she earns her living by tending orchards and making work gloves. Isolated by the red-rock cliffs that surround the town, she and her neighbors live apart from the outside world, even regarded with suspicion by the Mormon faithful who question the depth of their belief.

    When a desperate stranger who is pursued by a Federal Marshal shows up on her doorstep seeking refuge, it sets in motion a chain of events that will turn her life upside down. The man, a devout Mormon, is on the run from the US government, which has ruled the practice of polygamy to be a felony. Although Deborah is not devout and doesn’t subscribe to polygamy, she is distrustful of non-Mormons with their long tradition of persecuting believers of her wider faith.

    But all is not what it seems, and when the Marshal is critically injured, Deborah and her husband’s best friend, Nels Anderson, are faced with life and death decisions that question their faith, humanity, and both of their futures.

    MY REVIEW:

    THE GLOVEMAKER is a story that takes place in the winter of 1888 deep in a remote valley in Utah. This valley is home to a tiny town known as “Junction.” It’s residents are all Saints (as in the Latter Day variety).

    This town is home to only seven families, all of them having drifted away from the strict rules of the church, and most of them did not agree with the practice of polygamy.

    This book is based on a real life village and real life families, so it is history mixed with a giant dose of fiction and imagined characters. It is human nature to wonder about the lives of those who came before us. In THE GLOVEMAKER, author Ann Weisgarber has richly imagined an entire town, with backstories for all the characters readers encounter as the story moves along.

    I read this book in a single day and found myself wrapped up in the life of the main character; thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler. She is my type of woman. She is a tough as nails (but with a squishy heart) take-no-prisoners kind of woman.

    In 1888 a woman living alone for months on end while her husband travelled the territory fixing and making wagon wheels had to be tough. She had to be resilient and she had to be hard working.

    I found the fact that the villagers were all Latter Day Saints to be an interesting twist. And including some actual history of how the government saw the people who practiced that religion might be eye-opening for many readers.

    I enjoyed the story and I give Ann Weisgarber kudos for the historical research that went into the writing of this book. I rate THE GLOVEMAKER as 4 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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    **** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.****

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa, but now splits her time between Sugar Land, Texas, and Galveston, Texas.

    Her first novel The Personal History of Rachel DuPree was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers.

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE
    http://annweisgarber.com

    GOODREADS

    TWITTER

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    CHAPTERS

    PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

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    ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

    To find out more about Skyhorse Publishing, click on the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    INSTAGRAM

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    THE SATURDAY NIGHT GHOST CLUB by Canadian Author CRAIG DAVIDSON. This book is so good that it deserves more than 5 Stars. Don’t miss this one.

    Title: THE SATURDAY NIGHT GHOST CLUB

    Author: CRAIG DAVIDSON

    Genre: FICTION, LITERARY FICTION, CANLIT, CANADIAN FICTION

    Length: 246 PAGES

    Publisher: ALFRED A. KNOPF CANADA – A Division of PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

    Received From: THE PUBLISHER

    Release Date: AUGUST 15, 2018

    ISBN: 978-0-7352-7482-2 (Hardcover)

    Price: $27.00 CDN

    Rating: 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    DESCRIPTION:

    When neurosurgeon Jake Breaker operates, he knows he’s handling more than a patient’s delicate brain tissue – he’s altering their seat of consciousness, their golden vault of memory. And memory, Jake knows, can be a tricky thing.

    When growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls (a.k.a. Cataract City) one of Jake’s closest confidantes was his uncle Calvin, a sweet but eccentric misfit enamored of occult artefacts and outlandish conspiracy theories.

    The summer Jake turned twelve, Calvin invited him to join the “Saturday Night Ghost Club” – a seemingly light-hearted project to investigate some of Cataract City’s more macabre urban myths.

    Over the course of that life-altering summer, Jake slowly and painfully came to realize that his uncle’s preoccupation with chilling legends sprang from something buried so deep in his past that Calvin himself was unaware of it.

    MY REVIEW:

    The Saturday Night Ghost Club is on the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize shortlist. The Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize recognizes Canadian writers of exceptional talent for the year’s best novel or short story collection. The winner receives $50,000 and all finalists receive $5000.
    https://www.writerstrust.com/awards/rogers-writers-trust-fiction-prize

    Everything about this book is sheer perfection. From the Hardy Boys inspired cover, to the uneven edging of the pages, to the scenes of Canadiana – such as when twelve year old Jake “… was sitting on the sofa watching The Beachcombers…”

    Reading this book is like taking a walk through my own Ontario childhood when children actually played outside, when kids could disappear for hours and explore places that today’s helicopter parents would never dream of allowing their bubble-wrapped kids to go. It was a time when “bullying” was just a part of growing up. You had to either submit to it or learn to fight back.

    “Suck it up, Buttercup,” was more likely the parental response to any type of bullying during my childhood and that of Jake Breaker as opposed to what happens now – complaining to the teachers, the Principal, the School Board, and anyone who will listen and likely even posting about it on social media.

    It was a time when you would have been mortified if your parents got involved. Kids learned to solve their own problems, or they didn’t and if not, they ended up as perennial victims.

    Craig Davidson takes the reader back to a time when imagination was King. A time before internet. You couldn’t just Google information about anything you wanted to know. You asked your parents or if you were as lucky as the protagonist, you asked your “Strange Duck” Uncle.

    The way the author describes Uncle Calvin is so vivid and so very detailed that readers are able to picture him vividly, from his height. “He was incredibly tall, or so he seemed back then. (I realize now that, at six foot three, he was not quite the fairytale giant who exists in my memory.) To the way he moved – “He moved awkwardly, as though threads were attached to his limbs, trailing up to a novice puppeteer. He claimed this was the result of his nerves failing to stretch down to his toes and fingertips…” To his teeth, hair and even the clothes he wears. Uncle C becomes as vital and real to the reader as he is to his nephew, Jake.

    The tale is told through the memories of a now grown up Jake. He has become a neurosurgeon and tells us the story of one summer when he was a pre-teen. It was a summer in which he still believed in ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night.

    I was so wrapped up in this story that the world around me fell away and through the amazing talent of author Craig Davidson, I was transported into the story.

    It takes a rare and exceptional talent to make me excited enough about a book that I feel compelled to tell everyone I meet about it. THE SATURDAY NIGHT GHOST CLUB is the best book I have read this year, and I have read many.

    The descriptive power of words is on full display in this work of Literary Fiction. For example, read this:

    “The girl was eight years old … An MRI revealed a mass lodged near her pineal gland … an aggressive form of cancer manifesting in children. She was booked into surgery immediately. My sucker wand transited the lobes of her brain, moving through sticky webs of glia – brain glue, as it is known in our racket – to arrive at the tumor, which lay anchored in her ocular nerve. The delicate procedure was like vacuuming caramelized sugar off a strand of spaghetti. The slightest misstep would snap the nerve and rob the girl of sight in that eye. I removed as much as felt safe before retreating.”

    Comparing author Craig Davidson to other authors would just not be fair. It would be like comparing a CB Radio to a Smart Phone. He is in a class by himself and is sure to win award after award for his writing.

    I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and I am thankful to them for introducing me to this author. I need to get my hands on anything and everything else he has written. If those books are even half as good as this one, they are books I absolutely must read.

    The rating system for books only goes to 5 Stars, but I believe this book warrants a higher rating, one that distinguishes it from all others, therefore, I rate The Saturday Night Ghost Club as 5+ out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    **This book is also available as an audiobook at http://www.audible.ca Click HERE to purchase it online.

    *** Thank you to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book.***

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    CRAIG DAVIDSON was born and grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, near Niagara Falls.

    He has published four previous books of literary fiction: Rust and Bone, which was made into an Oscar-nominated feature film of the same name, The Fighter, Sarah Court, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated Cataract City.

    Davidson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his articles and journalism have been published in the National Post, Esquire, GQ, The Walrus, and The Washington Post, among other places.

    He lives in Toronto, Canada, with his partner and their child.

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    GOODREADS

    AMAZON

    WRITER’S TRUST AUTHOR PAGE

    CHAPTERS

    PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

    WHEN WINTER COMES is a new take on the famous Pioneer story of the Donner party. This Historical Fiction tale will get under your skin – Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You

    Title: WHEN WINTER COMES

    Author: V.A. SHANNON

    Genre: HISTORICAL FICTION

    Length: 304 PAGES

    Publisher: KENSINGTON BOOKS

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: OCTOBER 30, 2018

    ISBN: 9781496716507

    Price: $15.95 USD / $17.95 CDN

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    DESCRIPTION:

    Mrs. Jacob Klein has a husband, children, and a warm and comfortable home in California. No one—not even her family—knows how she came to be out West thirteen years ago. Jacob, a kind and patient man, has promised not to ask. But if she were to tell her story, she would recount a tale of tragedy, mishaps, and unthinkable choices—yet also sacrifice, courage, and a powerful, unexpected love . . .

    1846: On the outskirts of Cincinnati, wagons gather by the hundreds, readying to head west to California. Among the throng is a fifteen-year-old girl eager to escape her abusive family. With just a few stolen dollars to her name, she enlists as helpmate to a married couple with a young daughter. Their group stays optimistic in the face of the journey’s hazards and delays. Then comes a decision that she is powerless to prevent: Instead of following the wagon train’s established route, the Donner Party will take a shortcut over the Sierras, aiming to clear the mountains before the first snows descend.

    In the years since that infamous winter, other survivors have sold their accounts for notoriety and money, lurid tales often filled with half-truths or blatant, gory lies. Now, Mrs. Klein must decide whether to keep those bitter memories secret, or risk destroying the life she has endured so much to build . . .

    MY REVIEW:

    “Hunger is an evil thing, and brings with it the worst of human nature; it is an agony of the flesh, but it is an agony of the spirit as well.”

    Most people who have even a passing interest in Pioneer times have heard one or more versions of the story of the Donner party’s trek from Ohio to California which ended in murder and cannibalism. WHEN WINTER COMES is a new fictional version of this true tale.

    Told thirteen years after the survivors arrival in California, this tale is written in story form, but as if it were being written in a journal rather than spoken out loud.

    Mrs. Jacob Klein was but a young teenager when she set out in 1846 with nothing more than the clothes on her back to join a wagon train heading from her birthplace in Cincinnati to the wonder of a new life in California.

    Her husband Jacob has no idea what befell her on her journey and does not try to force her to relive those memories. However, his gift of a beautiful, blank journal prompts her to fill it with the recollections of the very worst time of her life.

    “My eyes blur with weariness, and my hand cramps. But my mind will not be still. It pours out memory like a never-ending stream of water that cannot be contained.”

    Author V.A. SHANNON writes about the camraderie the members of the wagon train experienced at the start of their journey. As time and hardship start to wear on the pioneers, that early easy camraderie starts to erode.

    What happens next is NOT the same as what has been reported and believed for the last 150 years.

    Author V.A. Shannon seamlessly leads the reader between the narrator’s journal entries and her present reality.

    Not only is this a historic tale of survival, it is also a coming of age story. In fact, it is also a study of humanity and of what people are willing to do, and what lines they will cross, in order to survive.

    How far would you go to ensure your survival?

    What would you be willing to do to ensure the survival of your spouse? What about for the survival of your children?

    Would you allow social conventions and the fear of what others would think of you to dictate your actions? Would you stand your ground when making decisions? Would you defer to others? Would you become a leader or a follower?

    Now, imagine that the year is 1846. Modern technology does not exist. There are no official roads. Would you resort to eating human flesh if the choice was between that and death?

    With those questions in mind, you now need to pick up a copy of WHEN WINTER COMES. When you finish reading it, come back to my blog amiesbookreviews dot WordPress dot com and let me know what you thought and if after reading it, you have altered your answers to the questions above.

    I love it when a book makes me think and when it is written well enough that not only do I feel sympathy towards the characters, but empathy as well. It is for this reason, as well as the simple fact that I enjoyed the story, that I rate WHEN WINTER COMES as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.

    QUOTES:

    “I have come to think that there are no shortcuts in life. It is too easy to choose to do the selfish thing, and to head off in pursuit of your own happiness and your own ambition, and lose sight of what really matters in this world.”

    *

    *

    “…to take a risk with the happiness of those who love you and depend upon you cannot be heroic.”

    *

    *

    “To my mind, the man who fears the path of love as being one of dull duty, but sets along it nevertheless, is the real hero at the end.”

    *

    *

    “We are practical folks, we Pioneers, and rightly proud of ourselves…”

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    V.A. Shannon trained originally as an artist, in the United States, and then requalified as a lawyer in the UK, but her first love has always been writing.

    In 2011, she was lucky enough to be accepted on the prestigious Faber Academy novel writing course where she embarked on the first draft of the novel that was ultimately to become When Winter Comes.

    She subsequently left the security of full time paid employment to concentrate on her writing, supporting herself by taking on a variety of temporary and part time roles, including working in the cloakroom at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, selling Titanic memorabilia, and cleaning houses!

    She has two beautiful daughters and a gorgeous granddaughter, and lives in Welwyn Garden City, just north of London.

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    GOODREADS

    FACEBOOK

    AMAZON

    CHAPTERS

    PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

    MOURNING DOVE AUDIOBOOK BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, GIVEAWAY and MORE

    Title: MOURNING DOVE

    Author: Claire Fullerton

    Narrator: Claire Fullerton

    Length: 9 hours and 13 minutes

    Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

    Released: June 25, 2018

    Genre: Southern Fiction

    “An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South.” (Kirkus Book Reviews)

    The heart has a home when it has an ally. If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, 18 months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s 10th birthday.

    Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold.

    Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world, as they find their way to belonging. But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

    Claire Fullerton grew up in Memphis, TN and now lives in Malibu, CA.

    She is the author of contemporary fiction, “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” set in Connemara, Ireland, where she once lived.

    Dancing to an Irish Reel is a finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards, and a 2016 Readers’ Favorite.

    Claire is the author of “A Portal in Time,” a paranormal mystery that unfolds in two time periods, set on California’s hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula, in a village called Carmel-by-the-Sea.

    Both of Claire’s novels are published by Vinspire Publishing.

    Her third novel, Mourning Dove, is a Southern family saga, published in June, 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction.

    She is one of four contributors to the book, Southern Seasons, with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, to be published in November 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction.

    Claire is represented by Julie Gwinn, of The Seymour Literary Agency.

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Audible | WordPress | LinkedIn

    Readers’ Favorite awarded Mourning Dove the 2018 bronze medal in the Southern Fiction category.

    *

    *

    MOURNING DOVE is a work of Historical Fiction set in the American South. The version I read was an Audiobook narrated by the author.

    Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton is a family saga. The book starts in the 1960s and follows the lives of Posey and her two children, Millie and Finley.

    Posey grew up in Memphis, but left the South and lived in Minnesota. Returning to her childhood home is easy for Posey. She grew up immersed in the strange (at least it is strange if you did not grow up there) customs and lingo of Memphis. For her, it is like putting on a favorite dress that is pure comfort.

    However, Millie and Finley do not fit in immediately. They find all the obscure social customs and rules bewildering at first. The children learn by watching their mother, but never really feel at home.

    MOURNING DOVE draws the reader (or listener in my case) into a world of old, moneyed families during a time in American history when those things were considered of upmost importance to the elite of Memphis society.

    The descriptions are exceedingly well written and readers are able to picture the time and place easily in their minds.

    The author shows that no matter how much money or social status a family has, it will not insulate them completely from tragedy and misfortune.

    I particularly liked the fact that the author did not shy away from the truth of the racism that was so abundant during the timeframe of this story.

    This book is a coming-of-age story not only for the characters, but also for the nation. Anyone interested in Historic and/or Southern Fiction will enjoy this audiobook.

    The narrator has the perfect accent for this audiobook and I give her full credit for increasing my enjoyment of this novel.

    I rate MOURNING DOVE as 4 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Claire Fullerton. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

    Q&A with Author & Narrator:

    Claire Fullerton

    • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
      • I am the author and narrator of coming of age, Southern family saga, Mourning Dove. As I wrote Mourning Dove, I could literally hear the narration in my mind’s ears! I am attuned to sound, in that I enjoyed a nine year career in music radio. And growing up in Memphis will make anyone an aficionado of music. After I gained permission from my publisher to narrate Mourning Dove, I spent four weeks narrating in a recording studio, acting out the characters in the book. The Southern accent wasn’t as important as the inflections. Southerns have a specific way of turning a phrase, especially those in the Delta, so I aimed for accuracy. Mourning Dove’s audiobook is nine hours, and I loved every minute of the recording process.
    • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
      • No. As I wrote the book, I paid attention to the arc of the story. I had faith that if I wrote the book as best I could then an audiobook would be an off-shoot.
    • How did you wind up narrating this audiobook?
      • In the case of how I came to narrate the coming of age, Southern family saga, Mourning Dove, I had to audition with my publisher, who was not in the practice of having their authors narrate their own books. But Mourning Dove is written in the first person, and it takes place in the South, so I wanted to give it the authentic, Memphis accent.
    • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
      • Yes, but the characters in Mourning Dove came from impressions I had of Southerners as a whole, while growing up in Memphis. Some mannerisms I included were specific to certain people I knew in my youth. This isn’t to say I put people I knew in the books as characters, but I did steal from some engaging mannerisms.
    • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
      • After I knew the frame of mind of the characters, as well as their personalities, I let the characteristics be my guide. I asked myself if they were each confident or self-conscious, if they were fearful, anxious, or easy going. I let the scene’s urgency or lack thereof dictate the voice.
    • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
      • I discovered long ago to let the story breathe. I write in scenes, and when I get to the end of a scene, sometimes it takes a day to arrive at where the story goes next. All along, I know the point I want to make in writing a novel. The task is to illuminate the path to my point, in scenes that illustrate the way to the point, if you will, and for this to happen, sometimes it’s good to pause while the next scene comes into focus.
    • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
      • I would head straight to 1797 and visit George Washington. I worked for several years as a historical interpreter on his estate and would love to pop in and see it in its prime. Not to mention catch some time alone with the General to talk to him.
    • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
      • I think the gift in Mourning Dove’s audiobook is that the listener will literally hear how the characters sound to me, as the author. Again, the nuances are all in the Southern inflections.
    • What’s next for you?
      • I have a novella coming out titled Through an Autumn Window, to be published as one of four novellas in a book called A Southern Season, by Firefly Southern Fiction. I also have a full manuscript in the hands of my literary agent, Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary Agency.

    Sep. 16th:
    Patriotic Bookaholic
    Jorie Loves A Story

    Sep. 17th:
    T’s Stuff
    The Book Junkie Reads . . .

    Sep. 18th:
    Amie’s Book Reviews

    Sep. 19th:
    Buried Under Books

    Sep. 20th:
    Jazzy Book Reviews

    Sep. 21st:
    Book Addict

    Sep. 22nd:
    Lomeraniel
    The Book Addict’s Reviews

    GIVEAWAY:

    Enter the Giveaway: Win a Signed copy of Mourning Dove

    Runs Sep. 16th-23rd
    Open to US only! Click on the following link to enter:

    Click on the following link to enter:

    Mourning Dove Giveaway: Signed copy of Mourning Dove
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    OTHER BOOKS BY CLAIRE FULLERTON:

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    THE HIDDEN VILLAGE BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, INTERVIEWS AND MORE 4.5 Stars for this HISTORICAL FICTION EPIC.

    Author: Imogen Matthews

    Narrator: Liam Gerrard

    Length: 9 hours and 48 minutes

    Publisher: I M Associates

    Released: May 31, 2018

    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Wartime Holland.

    Whom can you trust?

    Deep in the Veluwe woods lies Berkenhout, a purpose-built village of huts sheltering dozens of
    persecuted people. But the Germans can find no proof of its existence. The whole community
    pulls together to help the Berkenhout inhabitants adjust to a difficult new life and, above all, stay
    safe.

    Sofie, a Jewish Dutch girl, struggles to adapt to living in Berkenhout, away from her family and
    friends. As weeks turn to months, she’s worried they’ll abandon her altogether. Young tearaway
    Jan likes to help, but he also enjoys roaming the woods looking for adventure and fallen pilots.

    His dream comes true, until he is found out. Henk is in charge of building the underground huts
    and organizing provisions to Berkenhout, but his contact with the Germans arouses suspicions.

    Whom can you trust? All it takes is one small fatal slip to change the course of all their lives forever.


    Imogen Matthews is English and lives in the beautiful University town of Oxford.

    Before she wrote The Hidden Village, she published two romantic fiction e-novels under her pen name, Alex Johnson.

    The Hidden Village is published by Amsterdam
    Publishers, based in the Netherlands.
    Imogen has strong connections with the Netherlands.

    Born in Rijswijk to a Dutch mother and English father, the family moved to England when Imogen was very young.
    Every year since 1990, Imogen has been on family
    holidays to Nunspeet on the edge of the Veluwe woods.

    It was here that she discovered the story of the hidden village, and together with her mother’s vivid stories of life in WW2 Holland, she was inspired to
    write her next novel.

    Narrator Bio


    Liam is an Irish born voice-artist with over 10 years experience
    working in every field of the voice industry. His recent varied audiobook work includes the
    ‘Deception of a Highlander’ series of 3 books, Little Caesar for Audible, A Christmas Carol, The
    Tempest and Aviation Training. His regular corporate voice-clients include: Shell, BP, HMRC,
    HSBC, Hilton, Mondelez, Cadburys, Green & Blacks and many more. He has performed
    many radio-plays, narrations, animations and documentaries; from the Keith Moon biography to
    most Shakespeare radio-plays.

    He is also an Associate Lecturer in Broadcast Voice
    and ‘Acting for Radio’ at Sheffield Hallam University.

    He is a communication skills specialist and examiner
    for the Royal College of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal Scottish College of
    Surgery and as such is highly fluent in complicated medical reads with Latin
    pronunciations.

    He is also a highly acclaimed stage and screen actor.
    He studied at Lancaster University and then as a classically trained actor at Mountview. He
    spent his formative years in the Middle-East which has given him an understanding of different
    accents and cultures and is able to perform many accents to a native standard; including most
    UK regions, most Irish regions, most of Europe, Australia and North America, (hillbilly, New
    York, mid-Atlantic, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and is also able to create wildly inventive
    characters. He has lent his voice to some of the zaniest cartoons and animations written, from
    grumpy old wizards, to heroes, to South-American monkeys and even a sea-horse with a
    Scottish accent!

    He is currently the youngest actor to play the lead role
    of Prospero in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ in London’s West–End. His recent production of
    Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh won 4 prestigious Critics Choice Awards. He has worked for the most renowned theatre companies; from The Royal
    Exchange Theatre (2 Manchester theatre award nominations) to most regional theatres
    throughout the UK, including Alan Aykbourn’s SJT, New Vic, Oldham Coliseum, Donmar,
    Dukes, Nottingham Playhouse, Theatre by the Lake and many more. He also played Jerry in
    ‘Hollyoaks’ and appeared alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Hollywood feature film ‘Death
    Defying Acts’. His wide-ranging experience has also seen him perform Opera in ‘Rigoletto’.

    In his spare time Liam is also a musician, playing violin,
    drums, piano and percussion, and spends time with Peg, his Springer Spaniel, out in the Peak
    District whenever he can get away from the studio!

    Set in Holland during Hitler’s reign of terror, this book is unlike any I have read before. I expected it to be similar to “The Diary of Anne Frank” in that the entire tale would take place indoors, however, I was thankfully wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, I loved reading Anne Frank’s diary, it’s just that since then I have read numerous accounts of people in similar situations and I am ready for something different, something I have never heard about, or something completely new.

    I had never heard of anything so daring as trying to hide an entire village full of people in a forest. It shocked me that THE HIDDEN VILLAGE was based on a true story.

    The author has done a great job of crafting a tale that centers on the people’s lives, rather than on the war itself. Any violence portrayed in this story is there with a purpose – that of moving the story forward.

    I was greatly impressed by the narrator and his ability to create and maintain distinct voices for such a large number of characters. His pacing was perfect and he used inflection to create mood. I rate his performance as 5 out of 5 Stars.

    I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves not only historical fiction, but a great drama. I think that buying this book in audio book format is the best way to experience this tale.

    I rate THE HIDDEN VILLAGE audio book as 4.5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a
    blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Essential
    Audiobooks. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

    ***************************

    • Was a possible audiobook recording something
      you were conscious of while writing?

      • Absolutely not! I didn’t even know it would be possible. In
        some ways I’m pleased I wasn’t thinking about how The Hidden Village would sound as it might
        have inhibited my writing. I had a clear idea of how the characters sounded in my head and they
        shaped my writing. However, having turned The Hidden Village into an audiobook, I’m more mindful of how the words will be spoken as I’m writing my next novel (also set in Holland in
        WW2).
    • How did you select your narrator?
      • I was introduced to my narrator, Liam Gerrard, through
        Catherine O’Brien, CEO of Essential Audiobooks. After reading and becoming very enthusiastic
        about my novel, she suggested that Liam would be the perfect narrator for the job as he had
        experience in narrating World War 2 novels, has a fantastic CV as an actor and voiceover artist
        and has his own recording studio. It gave me the confidence that he would do an excellent job. I
        asked him to do me an audition of the first chapter which we then discussed in detail, so that he
        could understand what I was looking for in terms of characterisation, pace and style.
    • How closely did you work with your narrator before
      and during the recording process?

      • Most of my involvement took place at the beginning of the
        project. Once he began recording for real, he didn’t get in touch with me at all until he’d
        completed the job. I was slightly nervous that I might need to ask him to rerecord sections, but it
        wasn’t necessary. Listening to his narration the first time through, I was amazed at how he’d
        interpreted my writing and really brought the story to life.
    • Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special
      insight into the characters?

      • I made some voice files for Liam which describe the
        characters as well as the pronunciation of Dutch and German words and phrases, names and
        place names. We went through these meticulously and Liam even noticed a couple I’d missed!
        His attention to detail was extraordinary. He had really read and understood the story which
        comes out strongly in his narration.
    • Were there any real life inspirations behind your
      writing?

      • The Hidden Village is based on a real place in Holland
        which I discovered on one of my many cycling holidays in the area. Deep in the Veluwe woods
        is a memorial to the local people who had risked their lives to help Jews hide from the Germans
        by building a village of underground huts. Not only that, they brought in food, clothing,
        medicines and all other necessities all the time that the German soldiers were patrolling the
        woods looking for Jews in hiding. It was an extraordinary feat and the Dutch community almost
        got away with it. I came across a Dutch book with interviews of people who had lived in the area
        at the time, including those who had helped with the building of the village and others who’d
        gone to live there. It is the determination and courage of these people in the face of evil that
        interested me most.
      • My mother was Dutch and I grew up hearing about her
        experiences and stories of survival during the Hunger Winter in 1944-45. Food ran out, people
        starved to death but my mother and family survived because she cycled into the bulbfields and
        dug up tulip bulbs which they boiled as their only source of nutrition. Her stories were both
        horrifying and uplifting – she was a young woman at the time and often said that she’d found the
        war to be an exciting time. This is what made me want to have young people as my main
        character.
    • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do
      you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

      • I so wanted to get this story down as it’s about my own
        personal history and the place I love to visit most. I visit Nunspeet in Holland with my husband
        and other family members at least once a year and when I’m back in the woods the words really
        flow again.
    • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the
      audiobook format appeals to you?

      • I have to confess I’d never listened to an audiobook before
        my own! (I know, shame on me!). Now, I’ve been through the process, I appreciate just how
        brilliant an audiobook can be. I’ve started listening in the car, grabbing a chapter or two on short
        journeys and more on longer ones and have a feeling that I’m getting my reading in without having to pick up a book. I still love reading books as well and think the two are very
        complementary.

    Sep. 6th:
    Dab of Darkness
    Audiobook Reviews

    Amie’s
    Book Reviews

    Sep. 7th:
    T’s Stuff
    The Book Junkie Reads . . .
    Sep. 8th:
    Inspiration
    Clothesline

    Sep. 9th:
    Jazzy
    Book Reviews

    Sep. 10th:
    What Is That
    Book About

    Sep. 11th:
    Lomeraniel
    Sep. 12th:
    Working
    Mommy Journal

    The
    Book Addict’s Reviews

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