Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus by Victoria Grossack

Greek Mythology can be tedious to read at times. However this story of Jocasta was so refreshing and the story line flowed beautifully. I didn’t want the story to end. When I found out from Victoria that there would be a sequel, I was delighted! If you haven’t read about Jocasta then this is the story for you. A must read!
Stephanie

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

I felt the characters in this story lacked substance and unique personalities that you would see in Kate Morton’s other stories and I felt the characters didn’t really connect with each other. There were several situations that were never fully explained and was left to interpretation and I was disappointed with the conclusion. I felt there was no closure to the story. The ending fell flat.

However, the idea Kate had for the story line was good. I did enjoy reading parts of this book and I thought about the characters for sometime after reading it and thought about how things might have been different for them and the choices they made in their lives. I did like how Kate Morton described some of the scenes. They were written in a way…. I felt I was right there in the story experiencing them for myself. 
I rated this book three stars.

Stephanie

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseine

          
 I don’t remember a time where I cried so much over a book. I was so outraged in the beginning where Amir would be cruel towards Hassan. When Hassan was so loyal to him and how Amir didn’t protect Hassan from rape. 
Having said that, I felt Amir was a victim of circumstance and a victim of a fathers guilt. I didn’t admire Baba for hiding such a big secret. He should have been honest to Hassan and Amir from the beginning. That was only the right to do. Amir had to over come so much of his fathers mistakes and treatment towards him. But in the end he redeems himself from the mistakes he had made. I was so disturbed when Baba died without telling Amir the truth about his family and what he had kept from everyone.

Hassan was a good boy and grew up still courageous, strong, loyal and never lost his integrity. Even after everything he had gone through.

This was a moving story that will haunt me for a very long time.

I rated this story five stars.
Stephanie

Interview with Susan Higginbotham

1.  Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I can’t point to any specific inspiration because I have been writing almost as long as I remember. There have been times when my writing took a backseat to other pursuits, but never a time when I gave up on the idea of authorship altogether.
2. What is your favorite book you have written and why?
They all have a special place in my heart, but The Traitors Wife is the book that got my career as a novelist started, so it’s probably my sentimental favorite.
3. Who is your favorite character you wrote about in Her Highness, the Traitor and who is your least favorite?
When I started writing Her Highness, it was originally going to be about only Frances. Then I came across the letter that Jane Dudley wrote to Lady Paget begging for help in saving her husbands life, and it moved me so much, I knew I wanted to tell her story as well as Frances’s. So for a time, Jane Dudley became my favorite characterto the point where she eclipsed poor Frances. But as I got to know Frances better, I became very fond of her too. John Dudley also endeared himself to me. I even developed a sneaky affection for the Duchess of Somerset, to the point that I’d like to give her a novel of her own someday.
I find it very hard to dislike any of the characters in Her Highnessat least any of the major characters, because I think they all had some redeeming quality. Collectively I dislike the men who deserted Jane Grey’s cause at an opportune time and left John Dudley to face the queens wrath alone.
4.  What is your next book project?
I’m working on a novel about Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, who was a niece of Henry VIII. As a young woman, Margaret had the bad judgment to become secretly engaged to Lord Thomas Howard and got thrown into the Tower as a result. Later, Margaret schemed to marry her son Henry, Lord Darnley to Mary, Queen of Scots. It was a match which would in tragedyand which would ultimately put the Stuarts on the throne.
5. What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 
Read widely in your chosen genre, so you can figure out what works and what doesn’t and so you can develop the skill to recognize when your work needs to be improved. Listen to constructive criticism and be willing to learn from it. Above all, write! Too many people wait for the perfect time and place to write and because of that never get anything done. You don’t need the perfect writing nook; you don’t need to retire or to have the kids in school. You just need your imagination and your passion to tell a story, and if its a story worth telling, you need to make the time to tell it.
Thanks for interviewing me!
 Bio:
Susan Higginbotham has worked as an attorney and as an editor and currently works for a legal publisher. She lives in North Carolina with her family. Her first novel, The Traitors Wife, won the gold medal for Historical/Military Fiction in the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Susan has written two novels, The Traitors Wife and Hugh and Bess, set in fourteenth-century England, and two novels, The Stolen Crown and The Queen of Last Hopes, set during the Wars of the Roses. Her forthcoming novel, Her Highness, the Traitor, is her first foray into Tudor fiction.

The Mistress’s Revenge by Tamar Cohen

This girl Sally has a five year affair with this married man named Clive. He dumps her and of course she is upset and wants revenge. But what does she expect would happen? She thinks he would have left his wife for her? She should have gotten the clue that wasn’t going to happen after the first year or so! It gets better….She is with a man name Daniel and they have two children together.

I have to admit I was mentally exhausted after reading this story. A story about infidelity, obsession and revenge.I was utterly disgusted with Clive and Sally. More so with Sally and just how far she went. She should have left it alone when Clive dumped her. Sally had her revenge and she payed a high price for it. She broke up a family, including her own. Of course Clive helped with that also.

I felt Sally had no shame, guilt or remorse. In the end of the story she says, “If I’ve learned anything from this at all, it’s that life goes on and we must move on too.” Separately.

Wow! What a nut case!

This book is definitely a page turner. The Author Tamar Cohen does an excellent job exploring a person’s mind on obsession and revenge.

Stephanie

I am The Chosen King by Helen Hollick

I first discovered Helen Hollick on Goodreads. When I read Forever Queen I was captivated by the story of Queen Emma. The story was so beautifully written, I wanted to continue on to the sequel as soon as I could. In the sequel the story moves on to Harold Godwinsson. Who becomes King of England after Edward dies. Harold was the last Saxon King of England.

The horrid Duke William of Normandy wants England for himself. He invades England, which leads up to the Battle of Hastings. Needless to say… I was devastated when Harold died, especially in such a horrific way. But I understand Helen wanting to stay true as possible to the historic events that took place.

It has taken me a while to write this review due to the fact the story is so good I wanted it to do the story justice. Helen said to me, “Just be honest, even the “didn’t like” bits. Constructive criticism is always welcome.” I reply,“ In my little fantasy world if I were to change anything. It would be that my love king Harold would have crushed Duke William and his army, taken all his lands and live happily after with me.”

Throughout reading this amazing story, I kept on thinking how Helen describes the politics and drama of the royal court. She describes it as if she lived during that time to see it all unfold with her very eyes. That is how wonderful and intriguing the story is. One can tell that Helen does extensive research on her subjects and history, which is inspiring. I could only dream of becoming as good a writer as she and I mean that with the utmost sincerity.

Stephanie