Friday, July 31, 2015

Ebook Deals

Click the cover to view and buy the book in the Kindle store. While I only post links to the Kindle store, often times you can find the same titles on sale at other stores.

Disclaimer: Ebook prices are subject to change anytime. I can only promise they are under a certain price at the time I post them.

US Kindle Deals, fiction under $4, non-fiction under $6:


UK Kindle Deals, fiction under £3, non-fiction under £4:


Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: The Turncoat by Donna Thorland

Set in colonial Philadelphia, a sheltered Quaker girl turns worldly spy for Washington after her brief encounter with a British officer.

Let me preface this by saying I love Philadelphia history. I am from the Philly area myself and I have a long family history there dating back to early colonial times (like the founding of Germantown... like one of my ancestors immigrated along side Francis Daniel Pastorius). So I am going to be bias for any novel set in colonial Philadelphia. But that doesn't mean I don't have some criticism.

My main criticism was of the initial characterization of Peter Tremayne. He is self-admittedly a former plundering rapist until he meets our heroine and does a complete 180. And this is all based on spending one evening with her. I just found it hard to believe. At least in Thorland's other novels, the hero may be a bit of a rogue but he's not a rapist who is immediately reformed after one day with the heroine. Maybe it's because this was her first novel, maybe she learned from this and went on to form more believable main characters.

That aside, I loved everything about this novel. As usual, the historical politics, espionage, and historical figures really bring it to life. Easy to read with great dialogue and a fast paced plot, I am finding I can always rely on Thorland for a quick, fun novel that is steeped in local history.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review: Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History by John Julius Norwich

Advanced review copy from publisher via NetGallery. My opinions are my own.

Release Date: July 21, 2015

Everything you might ever want to know about the political history of Sicily, and then some. Extensively researched, this is the much deserved history of one of the most important islands in the world, stretching from the B.C. period all the way up to the mid-20th century.

The writing style is a little dry, very scholarly, and not always an easy read, but it serves as an excellent and much needed reference on the complicated history of Sicily. While it probably won't be a bestseller in the history book category, it will be of interest to many with a niche interest in Mediterranean history. It sometimes presumes the reader already has a basic understanding of many of the people, places, and topics discussed and therefore it's not necessarily an ideal book for beginners.

It opens with Sicily's Mycenaean beginnings, but quickly brushes over this period with little detail. If you're looking for a history book on the Mycenaeans, this is not it. It swiftly moves to the Greek colonization of the B.C. period, which it spends a good deal of time on before moving on to the Carthaginians. The next chapter is dedicated to the Romans, Barbarians, Byzantines, and Arabs so it plows through these mixed periods pretty quickly too, admitting that almost nothing is known about Sicilian history for the majority of the first few hundred years of Christianity. For me, it really picked up around the point it then reaches the Normans, perhaps because it begins to enter time periods I'm a little more familiar with, but also pulling a little more cultural aspects into what is a heavily political history.

It carries on through the rest of history, detailing each significant period all the way through the Second World War. Hugely comprehensive and a must read for anyone interested in Italian or Mediterranean history.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Upcoming Historical Novels

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier
UK Release Date: March 3, 2016
US Release Date: March 29, 2016

1838: James and Sadie Goodenough have settled where their wagon got stuck – in the muddy, stagnant swamps of northwest Ohio. They and their five children work relentlessly to tame their patch of land, buying saplings from a local tree man known as John Appleseed so they can cultivate the fifty apple trees required to stake their claim on the property. But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle. James loves the apples, reminders of an easier life back in Connecticut; while Sadie prefers the applejack they make, an alcoholic refuge from brutal frontier life.

1853: Their youngest child Robert is wandering through Gold Rush California. Restless and haunted by the broken family he left behind, he has made his way alone across the country. In the redwood and giant sequoia groves he finds some solace, collecting seeds for a naturalist who sells plants from the new world to the gardeners of England. But you can run only so far, even in America, and when Robert’s past makes an unexpected appearance he must decide whether to strike out again or stake his own claim to a home at last.

The Dutch Girl: Renegades of the American Revolution by Donna Thorland
Release Date: March 1, 2016

Manhattan and the Hudson River Valley, 1778. The British control Manhattan, the Rebels hold West Point, and the Dutch patroons reign in feudal splendor over their vast Hudson River Valley estates. But the roads are ruled by highwaymen. Gerrit Van Haren, the dispossessed heir of Harenwyck, is determined to reclaim his inheritance from his decadent brother, Andries, even if that means turning outlaw and joining forces with the invading British. Until, that is, he waylays the carriage of beautiful young finishing school teacher Anna Winters…

Anna is a committed Rebel with a secret past and a dangerous mission to secure the Hudson Highlands for the Americans. Years ago, she was Annatje, the daughter of a tenant farmer who led an uprising against the corrupt landlords and paid with his life. Since then, Anna has vowed to see the patroon system swept aside along with British rule. But at Harenwyck she discovers that politics and virtue do not always align as she expects…and she must choose between two men with a shared past and conflicting visions of the future.

Nightfall Over Shanghai by Daniel Kalla
Release Date: January 26, 2016

Espionage, passion, and battlefield drama: the loves and fears of one remarkable family unfold against the Second World War’s Pacific theatre

Gripping and poignant, this is the epic final chapter in Daniel Kalla’s wartime trilogy, bringing to an unforgettable conclusion the story begun in The Far Side of the Sky and Rising Sun, Falling Shadow

Golden Lion: A Novel of Heroes in a Time of War (The Courtney Novels) by Wilbur Smith
UK Release Date: September 24, 2015
US Release Date: October 20, 2015

The son of pirate and merchant Sir Frances Courtney, Henry “Hal” Courtney was raised at sea. When war broke out between the English and the Dutch empires, his father, fighting for the English crown, attacked a fleet of Dutch East India Company ships off the coast of Africa. That bravery was met with betrayal, and Sir Francis was executed. His heartbroken son witnessed his death and dedicated his young adulthood to avenging his father’s name.

Now, twenty years of war have passed. It is 1784, and a truce has been made between the English and the Dutch, ending the long years of battle on the seas. Hal, too has changed. He has become the captain of his own ship, and is soon to become a father himself. Navigating his crew across the waves of danger, Hal sails his ship, the Golden Bough, from the slave markets of Zanzibar to the pirate-riddled waters of the Indian Ocean in search of fortune and treasure.

But though the war is over, the final battle has not been won. Soon, Hal will learn that the more a man achieves, the more he has to lose. . . .

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ebook Deals

Sorry I haven't posted any in a while!

Click the cover to view and buy the book in the Kindle store. While I only post links to the Kindle store, often times you can find the same titles on sale at other stores.

Disclaimer: Ebook prices are subject to change anytime. I can only promise they are under a certain price at the time I post them.

US Kindle Deals, fiction under $4, non-fiction under $6:


UK Kindle Deals, fiction under £3, non-fiction under £4:

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