Book Reviews

Book Review Realm by Alexandrea Weis

Title: Realm

Author: Alexandrea Weis

Publication Date: May 14. 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars=Non-Stop Page Turner

Purchase at

Alexander the Great conquered the land were a young woman named Roxana lives. Alexander claims her after seeing her dance at a feast. She’s feisty, which turns him on and makes him want her even more. Roxana agrees to marry him for the sake of her family but she isn’t happy. This starts the journey of Alexander and Roxana and I couldn’t get enough of it.

This book had wonderful settings and descriptions. The author does a great job involving her readers in the action of the story. It was easy to visualize the descriptions and invest in the characters. The love shared between Alexander and Roxana was beautifully written as was the rest of the book.

Realm is my kind of historical fiction read. It is laced with battles, love, acts of conquering, loss and pain. It’s strong and stubborn characters wouldn’t let me put this book down. I felt all the feelings while reading it. I recommend this book to those who love historical fiction and romance.

*This book was provided by the publishers for review purposes only.

Book Features, Giveaways

Sneak Peek of Lizzie Borden by Elizabeth Engstrom

Lizzie Borden
by Elizabeth Engstrom
Genre: Historical Mystery, Thriller
Did she do it?
A hundred years ago, it was the Trial of the Century. A young woman
stood accused of brutally murdering her father and stepmother in a
crime so heinous that it became a benchmark in human tragedy.
A hundred years later, the Lizzie Borden case still resounds in the
imagination. There are those who staunchly defend Lizzie’s
innocence while others vehemently declare that she did it, and that
the murder was justified.
In Elizabeth Engstrom’s brilliant novel, the dark psychology of the
Borden household is laid bare. Lizzie, her sister Emma and their
parents Andrew and Abby Borden, are sharply illuminated—as are the
paranoia and concealed hatred that secretly ruled the family.
Domestic violence and dysfunctional families are not inventions of
modern times.
Every door in the Borden house is metaphorically locked, and each room holds
the terrible secrets of its occupant…Engstrom skillfully and subtly
builds a psychological plot, moving the reader inexorably toward the
anticipated savage denouement.” —Publishers Weekly

Kathryn answered the door dressed in a stunning wine colored gown, trimmed in black lace. A white cameo gleamed at her throat, her hair was done up with a twist and it shone in the gaslight. She even had a touch of lipstick on, Lizzie noticed, and some rouge.

Lizzie hugged her hostess, and the first feeling of inadequacy of the evening came over her. If there was one thing about Kathryn that truly intimidated Lizzie, it was Kathryn’s diminutive stature. Tiny, she was, almost like a fairy. Lizzie felt like a moose next to her.

Kathryn kissed her lightly on the lips, then chattered away gaily as she took Lizzie’s cape and hat, and the two women went into Kathryn’s correctly appointed sitting room. Lizzie glanced into the dining room on her way past, and saw the table set for two. Wonderful. An intimate evening.

They shared a cup of tea and talked first about the good work the WCTU was accomplishing, then gossiped politely about some of the members. Lizzie became more and more relaxed. When Kathryn left the room to check on the progress of dinner, Lizzie had the profound realization that Kathryn had invited her to her home for no other reason than she enjoyed Lizzie’s company. There was no committee work to be done, there was not a dinner party with an odd number of guests, there was no other reason. Kathryn had invited Lizzie because she wanted to share a dinner with her.

Lizzie blushed in spite of herself and sipped her tea.

Kathryn returned and they talked of art, a subject Lizzie knew as little about as Kathryn was well-versed. They talked Fall River politics for a moment, then general Fall River news and personalities, and then it was time for dinner.
Kathryn had roasted two squabs and served them with an orange sauce, small freshly-dug carrots that she’d overwintered right in the ground, and a portion of goat cheese that she’d purchased last Saturday at the market. This spawned a discussion of cooking, another thing in which Kathryn was accomplished and Lizzie not.

But the holes in Lizzie’s training did not confuse her this night with holes in her personality. Kathryn’s life had taken different directions, and had led her down different paths. Lizzie did not feel more or less fortunate (except in looks and body) for once. She just felt different, and for the first time, instead of dwelling on her own insufficiencies, she reveled in Kathryn’s accomplishments and queried enthusiastically about her life.

After dinner (Lizzie ate her entire bird down to the bones; Kathryn barely ate a half breast), Kathryn gave Lizzie a thorough tour of her kitchen, and then her artworks, which spread about the house. Lizzie had long admired the art which hung on Kathryn’s walls, but as she’d only been at the house during a meeting, she’d never had opportunity to view each one in its glory. Each painting, sketching and drawing had a little story about where it came from, the artist, and how and where Kathryn had acquired it. Lizzie was totally charmed with this little tiny, beautiful woman and her enthusiasm.

Eventually, the tour landed them back in the sitting room, where Kathryn sat on the settee next to Lizzie.

They talked about Europe, and compared notes on what they had seen in common, and as Kathryn poured a fresh cup of tea, her hand touched Lizzie’s, and it stayed there.

Lizzie was surprised at how warm it was, how soft and warm, and without thinking, she took Kathryn’s tiny hand in both of hers. Emma’s hands were harsh and bony, Abby’s hands were fat and bloated, Father’s hands were horny and hairy. This little perfectly manicured hand was warm and gentle. Tender. Lizzie turned it over to look at the palm, ran a finger down the center of it, and when she looked up, Kathryn had a most peculiar look in her eyes.
T he expression on Kathryn’s face reminded Lizzie of days long ago when she would sit in the window seat at the farm and look out the window, dreaming of things to be when she finally became an adult. She longed to be a housewife with a dozen children. She longed to have a protector, a provider, one she could kiss and hug, one she could sleep next to on a cold night. She longed to make her own decisions and not be driven instead by a ruthless older sister, she longed. . .

That was the expression in Kathryn’s eyes. Longing.

Lizzie flushed and looked again at the tiny hand she held in her own.
“Lizzie?” Kathryn spoke so softly, that even in the silent room, Lizzie was not sure that she had heard. She was suddenly shy, and almost afraid. Her heart pounded louder than Kathryn’s tiny word. Eventually, she looked up into that beautiful face, and Kathryn’s lips were gently parted, and she moved closer and closer, until Lizzie could smell her hair as well as see right through it, and she could smell the closeness of Kathryn, freshly bathed and powdered. She could smell Kathryn’s breath, warm, scented with tea and cinnamon, and then Kathryn’s lips were on her own, soft, so soft.

Then she was gone, and Lizzie found her eyes closed, so she opened them, and saw Kathryn, who was flushed and laughing, both of them embarrassed, and the small hand slid out from between Lizzie’s and helped the other hand hold the trembling teacup.

Abby settled back into her bed, the fear of the dark shadows gone, the anger at Andrew gone, the worry over Lizzie having another headache gone. All that was left was that creeping feeling of doom.

It had been intensifying lately, that feeling. That terrible feeling that something was about to happen. The present status could not remain so for very much longer; everyone seemed to be strung just a little bit too tight. And when people are just a little too close, just a little too crowded, well, things begin to happen.

Like jewelry and money disappearing and reappearing in the barn.
A shiver ran through Abby. It was such a violation, that little robbery. It was such a slap in the face by some member of this household. That was a day she almost gave the ultimatum to Andrew: We move or they move. But the tensions had eased some after that, and of course, there had been no repeating offenses, nor had Abby any reason to think there would be. The point, whatever it was, had apparently been made.

The thought of the robbery was inseparable from this feeling of dread that she had, this moving black shadow that was just a little darker than the dark, when nothing was there. The robbery was an omen, she thought, of ominous things to come, and if she were a real wife, and a real mother, she would insist that Andrew take her out of this house and save them all from themselves.

But she was not a real wife, and Andrew knew that, and she was not a real mother, and both Emma and Lizzie knew that.

So she would make do, as she always had, spending her time with Sarah and her many troubles, and the occasional birthing that came along in her little circle of acquaintances, and she would hope that when the end came, whatever it may be, that it be swift and sure, silent and without warning.

Abby whirled around, but there was no one there. She could have sworn that she heard someone behind her.

She shook the pillow down into the case, plumped it up right—not the way that silly Bridget did it—and laid it nicely on the bed.

She smoothed it down, stood up and listened.

Bridget had answered the knock at the door, and Abby had waited for the call. She was expecting to be called a second time to the birthing, but had decided not to go. Mr. Borden would definitely not approve.

She went back to the task at hand, smoothing the pillow.

She whirled. There it was again, a presence. This time, though, she almost heard breathing. But there was nothing there. Nothing.

The hair prickled at the back of her neck and stood up along her arms. She rubbed it down, and walked around the foot of the bed.

Elizabeth (Liz) Engstrom grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois (a Chicago suburb
where she lived with her father) and Kaysville, Utah (north of Salt
Lake City, where she lived with her mother). After graduating from
high school in Illinois, she ventured west in a serious search for
acceptable weather, eventually settling in Honolulu. She attended
college and worked as an advertising copywriter.
After eight years on Oahu, she moved to Maui, found a business partner and
opened an advertising agency. One husband, two children and five
years later, she sold the agency to her partner and had enough seed
money to try her hand at full time fiction writing, her lifelong
dream. With the help of her mentor, science fiction great Theodore
Sturgeon, When Darkness Loves Us was published.
Engstrom moved to Eugene, Oregon in 1986, where she lives with her husband Al
Cratty, the legendary muskie fisherman, and their Duck Tolling
Retriever, Jook. Liz holds a BA in English Literature and Creative
Writing and a Master of Arts in Applied Theology, both from
Marylhurst University. A recluse at heart, she still emerges into
public occasionally to speak at a writers conference, or to teach a
class on various aspects of writing the novel, essay, article or
short story. An avid knitter and gardener, she is on faculty at the
University of Phoenix and is always working on the next book.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Book Features, Giveaways

#BookSpotlight Through A Dark Glass by Barb Hendee #giveaway

by Barb Hendee
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Pub Date: 1/9/2018
On her seventeenth birthday, Megan of
Chaumont discovers she’ll be sold as a bride to the brutish
Volodane family—within hours. Her father grants only that she may
choose which one of the ruthless, grasping lord’s three sons she
Rolf, the eldest: stern, ambitious, and loyal?
Sebastian, the second son: sympathetic, sly, and rebellious?
Or Kai, the youngest: bitter, brooding, and proud?
As shy, horrified Megan flees the
welcome dinner for her in-laws-to-be, she finds an enchanted mirror
that will display how her life unrolls with each man, as if she were
living it out in a breath. But there is no smooth “happily ever
after” in her choices.
Deaths and honors, joys and agonies,
intrigues and escapes await her in a remote, ramshackle keep, where
these rough but complex men reveal one side and then another of their
jagged characters—and bring forth new aspects of Megan, too. But
the decisions of one teenaged marriage-pawn reverberate much farther
than any of them have guessed . . .
Barb Hendee is the New York
bestselling author of The Mist-Torn Witches series. She is
the co-author (with husband J.C.) of the Noble Dead Saga. She holds a
master’s degree in composition/rhetoric from the University of
Idaho and currently teaches writing for Umpqua Community College. She
and J.C. live in a quirky two-level townhouse just south of Portland,
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
Sponsored by
Book Features, Giveaways

Spotlight Wednesday: The Pursuit of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson

Title: The Pursuit of Lady Harriett

Author: Rachael Anderson

Publication Date: August 23, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

When wills clash and hearts collide, who will reign victorious?

Termed an Incomparable during her first London season, Lady Harriett Cavendish is beautiful, spirited, and confident, capturing the attention of a great many suitors. Unfortunately, they all failed to capture her attention, and she concluded the season as unattached as she’d begun it.

Only weeks prior to her second season, Harriett encounters Lieutenant Christopher Jamison while visiting Tanglewood Manor. Recently returned from war, the lieutenant is everything that Harriett’s previous suitors were not. He’s arrogant, ungentlemanly, irritating, and challenges her at every opportunity. When he goes too far, Harriett decides that it’s time to turn the tables on him. But as she sets out to put the lieutenant in his place once and for all, she discovers there is more to him than meets the eye, and when it comes to matters of the heart, she has no control whatsoever.

Purchase at

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 10/1/17

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Author Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating. Learn more about her work via her  Website.