The Fifth Knight by E.M. Powell

the fifth knight

Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Thomas & Mercer Publishing
Paperback; 390p
ISBN-10: 1611099331

To escape a lifetime of poverty, mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to one final, lucrative job: help King Henry II’s knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. But what begins as a clandestine arrest ends in cold-blooded murder. And when Fitzurse, the knights’ ringleader, kidnaps Theodosia, a beautiful young nun who witnessed the crime, Palmer can sit silently by no longer. For not only is Theodosia’s virtue at stake, so too is the secret she unknowingly carries—a secret he knows Fitzurse will torture out of her. Now Palmer and Theodosia are on the run, strangers from different worlds forced to rely only on each other as they race to uncover the hidden motive behind Becket’s grisly murder—and the shocking truth that could destroy a kingdom.

My review:

To be honest I didn’t expect to enjoy this story as much as I did. This story is definitely what I call a suspenseful thriller. This was a page turner from beginning to end. I know a little of the history that the author writes in this story and I was curious about it when she added a fifth knight. I thought, “How interesting and did she pull this off?” Well, she certainly does, so well in fact that it is believable and intriguing. Everything about this story draws you in. The characters, plot and the beautifully blended historical aspects to the fiction and when you thought you knew the secret that was unfolding, there is a twist you don’t see coming. The author attention to detail is impeccable and realistic that a few of the murder scenes were very dramatic and a bit graphic for my taste. The time period that this story is set in is one of my favorites and I enjoyed the Powell’s rendering of it. She sets the tone for what true historical fiction should read like.

About the Author

E. M. Powell was born and raised in Ireland, a descendant of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins. At University College, Cork, she discovered a love of Anglo-Saxon and medieval English during her study of literature and geography. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Manchester Irish Writers, the Historical Novel Society, and International Thriller Writers. A reviewer for the Historical Novel Society, she lives today in Manchester, England, with her husband and daughter.

For more information, please visit E.M. Powell’s website and blog.  You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 16 Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader

Wednesday, April 17 Review at Sir Read-a-Lot

Thursday, April 18 Review at Turning the Pages

Friday, April 19 Interview & Giveaway at Sir Read-a-Lot

Monday, April 22 Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, April 23 Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, April 24 Interview & Giveaway at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, April 25 Review at The Lit Bitch Interview at Bibliophilic Book Blog

Friday, April 26 Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, April 29 Review at A Book Geek

Tuesday, April 30 Guest Post at Kinx’s Book Nook

Wednesday, May 1 Review & Giveaway at Book Addict Katie

Thursday, May 2 Review & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Friday, May 3 Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie

Monday, May 6 Review at Layered Pages Review at Overflowing Bookshelves

Tuesday, May 7 Review at Raging Bibliomania

Wednesday, May 8 Review at West Metro Mommy

Thursday, May 9 Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, May 10 Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

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Interview with Award Winning Author Isabel Morin

Stephanie: I’d like to welcome author Isabel Morin to Layered Pages today! 

Isabel, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion! Please tell me about your book, “No Other Love.”

Isabel: It’s a historical romance set in 19th century Massachusetts (both in the country and in Boston) and revolves around a heroine (Rose) who’s trying to find her father’s killer. She’s convinced his murder is connected with her family’s refusal to allow a railroad line to be run through their farm in western Massachusetts, so she takes a job in the railroad president’s home to find out more. The president happens to have a handsome son, and there are of course many reasons they can’t act on their mutual attraction. I don’t tend to read thrillers and wasn’t inclined to write one, so the mystery aspect takes a back seat to the relationship.

Isabel's book cover

Stephanie: That sounds really interesting. What was the inspiration for your story?

Isabel: I love reading a good historical because it’s such an escape, and also you have clearer class distinctions, especially if you have a servant-master relationship. Then I saw the movie “Gosford Park,” and I drew lot of inspiration from the dynamics between staff and family.

Stephanie:  I absolutely love historical and I adore, Gosford Park!  Are there any scenes you have written based on you own life experiences? Or is there anyone in your life that you have based their personalities in one of your characters?

Isabel: Elements of my husband turn up in all my hero’s, but especially in “No Other Love.” I started this book before I met him, but it was just a few sketchy chapters, nothing fleshed out. I knew that Luke, the hero, needed to be involved with the railroad in some way, and I wanted him to have a masculine job, but I didn’t know what he’d have been doing in that time period. Then I met my husband, who’s a cartographer, and I realized that’s what Luke should be. So I made him a cartographer and a surveyor whose job it is to find a route over the Berkshire Mountains for the railroad line. Luke’s backstory is that he spent a lot of time out west and loves geology and rocks, like my husband, and there’s mention of a little glass bottle of garnets Luke found in a stream out west, and Michael has the very same bottle.

Stephanie: That is really fascinating. How does your husband feel about that? I’m sure he is elated! That is really cool he loves geology and rocks. My daughter and I love going to the Blue Ridge Mountains to creek walk and find rocks.

Isabel: He seems to get a kick out of it, and I always tell him what traits of his I’m giving my heroes. He also likes helping me with research, like finding maps for certain places. He once printed out a wall-sized map of a place out west I was writing about. The only problem with that was I had nowhere to put it!

Stephanie: That is great he is so enthusiastic and helpful with your work. When did you first know you wanted to write Romance?

Isabel: I toyed with the idea for a couple of years before I started researching this book (and it required A LOT of research) sometime around 1999, maybe even earlier. I’ve been reading romances since I was thirteen or fourteen, so I know the different genres well. I just had to start looking at romances as a writer rather than just as a reader. Nineteenth century Massachusetts is not a typical setting for a romance novel, but I wanted to write what I knew.

Stephanie: I can imagine it’s not your typical setting for romance. Which makes it all the more fascinating! What is the time period that your story takes place in? How long did it take you to write your story?

Isabel: The story starts in 1841. I picked that year to match the historical facts about the railroad line involved. I almost don’t want to say how long it took me to write it, since I started around 1999 and didn’t complete it until 2010. I wasn’t actively working on it that whole time, but it still took me far longer than I would have liked. Let’s just say there was a big learning curve. I work much faster now, though I’m by no means a speed demon.

Stephanie: I’m a slow writer and I do tend to take my time. Which bothers me at times, I must admit. What intrigues you most about writing romance novels?

Isabel: I love that there are certain standard tropes but that you can do so much with them. The male-female dynamic is so much clearer, the men more macho, and you can play with conventional roles in a way that indulges female fantasies of being protected and craved. I love doing that while also having strong, independent heroines. Falling in love goes to the heart of who we are, and I love seeing how two characters will grow together and react to one another.

Stephanie: Sounds like a fun writing process! When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and when did you begin?

Isabel: I’ve been serious about writing since college, and after college I started taking poetry workshops. In my late twenties I got an MFA in creative writing and wrote exclusively poetry for years. But as much as I love poetry, I wasn’t losing myself in it the way I would have liked, the way I did while reading fiction. Also my poetry was mostly about myself and mostly pretty melancholic, and I was tired of writing that kind of thing. That was especially true after I met my husband. I wanted to try fiction, and since I’m an avid romance reader, I decided that would be the most fun. I also thought that having certain conventions would be helpful structure-wise as I learned the craft.

Stephanie: What advice would you give to a writer who wants to write romance?

Isabel: You need to love it and read a lot of it, and I think it’s good to understand the conventions and expectations, even if you intend to break them. Also, have a good critique partner or two. Learn the craft through books or workshops, and consider joining Romance Writers of America (RWA), as they’re a great resource for writers.

Stephanie: How did you discover BRAG?

Isabel: When I was given the medallion. I’m really thrilled to be part of the community now.

Stephanie: Isabel, it has been a pleasure to chat with you! Thank you!

Isabel Morin

Visit my website, blog, and Goodreads page

Message from BRAG:

We are delighted that Stephanie has  chosen to interview Isabel Morin who is the author of, No other Love , one  of our medallion honorees at www.bragmedallion.com . To be awarded a B.R.A.G.  MedallionTM,  a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a  daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, No other Love,  merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

indiebrag-team-member

Bon Appetit!

Recently I cooked one of my favorite French dishes. Ratatouille and Supremes De Volaille A Brun. This time I made some changes to the recipe and put the two together as a meal. I hope Julia wouldn’t be too disturbed by this! As far as the Ratatouille, I followed the recipe to the law. It’s not as perfect looking as I’m sure Julia would have made it but it sure was yummy! Ratatouille is an Eggplant Casserole with tomatoes, onions, peppers and zucchini. It’s served good with chicken, beef or lamb.

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Supremes De Volaille A Brun is a chicken sautéed in butter. Instead of using flour, I used Panko Bread Crumbs. It gives it more texture. For the Butter sauce, you use clarified butter, minced parsley, and lemon juice! It’s fabulous and so tasty!

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And when it’s all done! Below is the final piece! Food is like art! I added white rice to this dish and served French crusty bread along with it. It goes really well together!

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You can get these recipes’ in Julia Child’s book called, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

Stephanie

Interview with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Lynne Kennedy

Stephanie: I would like to introduce Author Lynne Kennedy. Winner of the BRAG Medallion. Hello Lynne! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about you book, “The Triangle Murders.”

 

The Trangle Murders Cover

 Lynne: Like all of my books to date, “The Triangle Murders” is a historic mystery woven around events that actually happened. That mystery is solved today by modern technology.

Quick Synopsis: When a young reporter is pushed from a ninth story window in Greenwich Village, NYPD Homicide Lieutenant Frank Mead soon connects the case to a murder that took place at the same site a hundred years earlier, during the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

Stephanie: Is this your first mystery novel you have written?

Lynne: I’ve written three. Besides “The Triangle Murders,” “Time Exposure” is a mystery that revolves around Civil War photography- it’s available online and in paperback. Coming within the next few months is “Deadly Provenance,” which is about the Nazi confiscation of art and a missing Van Gogh painting.

 

Time Exposure Cover

 Stephanie: What is some of the recourse you used in your research?

Lynne: I’ve written a lot about research in my blogs. Essentially, I actually visit the places where the historic mystery happened and work with experts when possible who are familiar with the events. In some cases I’ve worked with curators at the Smithsonian, in others at the Library of Congress. In terms of the modern forensics, I work with the Crime Lab here in San Diego to help me through the actual procedures such as blood spatter, DNA, ballistics, etc.

Stephanie: Lynne, that is really fascinating! What a wonderful experience to be able to do that. I saw on goodreads that you have a Master’s Degree in Science. Do you feel this has helped you in writing your book?

Lynne: My degree enabled me to get a position in the museum world. I was the Deputy Executive Director at a Science Center for many years. That is where I picked up most of the latest forensic, science and technology information that I write about.

Stephanie: What was your inspiration for your story?

Lynne: I’m originally from New York City and when visiting some years ago, I happened to notice the plaque on a building, now part of NYU, in Greenwich Village. That plaque commemorates the 146 people that died in the Triangle fire. I was immediately hooked!

 

plaque

 

Stephanie: Is there a character in your book you relate to in any way?

Lynne: Fiona O’Hara Mead, the main character in the back story. She was an Irish immigrant trying to survive in the Lower East Side in the early 1900s. She landed a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, got embroiled in the politics of the terrible working conditions, which eventually got her murdered. She’s a feisty redhead who wanted to make a difference for the working people. I guess I can identify with her.

Stephanie: Have you written books in other genres?

Lynne: No. I’ve stuck to mysteries so far.

Stephanie: Where do you see the self-publishing industry in five to ten years?

 Lynne: I think self-publishing is the wave of the future. The industry will continue to grow and allow new writers to break in by the thousands. The problem here, of course, is “thousands.” Unfortunately, the “noise” is already deafening. How will a writer be able to be heard above so many others? No doubt about it, though, it’s great for readers!

Stephanie: If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know?

Lynne: One of my favorite authors is Anne Rivers Siddons. I have read many of her books more than once.  Although I generally read mysteries, I love fine literary fiction. It sticks with me far longer than a mystery, even a well-written mystery. I know Anne is in her eighties and I would love to meet her before it’s too late to ask how she creates such memorable characters.

I also love non-fiction and one of my favorites is “The Worst Hard Times” by Timothy Egan, a journalist for the New York Times. I’d love to have a conversation with him about politics.

Stephanie: What are you currently reading?

Lynne: Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Bean Trees.”  Fabulous!

Stephanie: How did you discover BRAG?

Lynne: I think it was mentioned on one of my Facebook writing groups. Glad to have been selected as a winner!

Stephanie: Lynne, it was a pleasure to chat with you! Thank you!

About Author:

 

Lynne Kennedy

 

With a Master’s Degree in Science and more than 28 years as a science museum director,

Lynne Kennedy has had the opportunity to study history and forensic science, both of which

play significant roles her novels. She has written four historical mysteries, each solved

by modern technology. The Triangle Murders (formerly called Tenement) was a finalist in St Martin’s Malice Domestic Competition, 2011 and Winner of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Mystery Category, 2011. The Triangle Murders also won a B.R.A.G. Medallion Award for best Indie Mystery in 2012.

Her novel, Time Exposure, was a finalist in St. Martin’s Malice Domestic Competition in 2012.

Deadly Provenance is her third mystery and will be available by June, 2013. Next: The Covenant.

 

Dealdle Provenance

She blogs regularly and has many loyal mystery writer and reader fans.

Visit her website at www.lynnekennedymysteries.com

Message From indieBRAG:

We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview, Lynne Kennedy, who is the author of, The Triangle Murders, one of our medallion honorees at www.bragmedallion.com. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, The Triangle Murders, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

 

 

Interview with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Author Barbara Hacha

Stephanie: I’m so delighted to introduce Barbara Hacha, author of, “Line by Line and BRAG Medallion Honoree.  Barbara, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion! I’ve heard wonderful things about, “Line by Line.” Please tell me about your book and what inspired you to write this story.

Barbara: Thank you! I feel very honored that my book was awarded the BRAG Medallion.

Line by Line is a story of Maddy Skobel, a young woman growing up in central Ohio during the Great Depression.  Her family is disintegrating right along with the economy, and when her home life becomes impossible, she decides to leave town–by freight train–and try to survive on her own terms. She becomes a hobo, and as she faces hardship, danger, and violence, she must discover her own resourcefulness and strengths.

My inspiration actually came out of a garage sale find!  I picked up a copy of a video called Riding the Rails at a sale and brought it home, thinking it might be like a PBS Great Train Trips adventure. But it turned out to be a documentary about people who rode the rails in the Great Depression, and much to my surprise, I found that women rode! I wondered what it would have been like to be a young woman in the 1930s and riding the rails. So I created a character and decided to find out!

 

Line by Line Book Cover

Stephanie: It’s truly fascinating where one can find an idea for a story. What an intriguing premise for your story. How did your characters voices come to you?

Barbara: That’s hard to describe. I think it’s important to really get to know and understand your characters, and then their voices come through. I really believe that character drives plot, because we all make choices and decisions based on who we are and how we perceive things to be.

Stephanie: I agree with you. I believe characterization is the most important part to the story. Where there any challenges you faced while writing it?

Barbara: Sure–lots of challenges!  Probably the biggest was trying to carve out time to write while juggling my day job, which is editing books. There’s always deadline pressure. And when you write historical fiction, the challenge is to do all the needed research so you get it right.  Fortunately, I love researching, but it is time consuming.

Stephanie: What research was involved for your story and did you learn anything new about the Great Depression you didn’t know before?

 Barbara: When I started Line by Line, I first tried to get an overview of what was happening in the Depression economically and especially culturally. What were people like back then? How did they face adversity? I looked at many books and newspaper clippings from the time, as well as photographs that showed what people wore–and even of restaurant signboards that showed what people ate and how much meals cost. I also drew on some family history. My grandparents lived through the Depression, and they talked about what it was like.

I definitely learned things I didn’t know before!  One of the biggest things I learned was about the Bonus March in Washington, D.C.   In 1932, about 45,000 WWI veterans camped in Washington for two hot summer months trying to get Congress to award their promised bonus. When I discovered that demonstration in some news clippings, I knew Maddy would have to go there.  I’ve since discovered that most people don’t know about the Bonus March, either. It’s not being taught in schools.

Stephanie: Wow, I have never heard of the Bonus March. I wish our children could learn about that in their schools. So much is left out. If there is a lesson a reader can come away with having read your story. What would it be?

Barbara: I think there’s two things, which are kind of intertwined. First, we can’t always control what happens to us–we can only control how we react to those things and the choices we make.  Second, I think it’s important to learn from history. When I was writing Line by Line, I was a bit unnerved at the similarities between the Great Depression and our most recent Great Recession.  Politicians and other people in power make decisions that seriously impact on people’s lives–from the failure of the banking system to home foreclosures to unemployment. Some of these life events will forever leave their mark, and those in power should not make their decisions without understanding all the ramifications.

Stephanie: That is really interesting and so true. What is your writing process?

Barbara: I try to use my time whenever I can get it. Even small increments can be productive.  And I try to separate the writing process from the editing process. I write first and go back later to edit.  I don’t agonize over every word until the writing is done. I think it’s also important to belong to a writer’s critique group, with people whose ideas and opinions you trust. Mine has been so helpful! We’ve been meeting monthly for about 10 years, and my writing is definitely better because of them.

Stephanie: Tell me about National Hobo Convention you attended in Britt, Iowa.

Barbara: I found out about this convention while I was researching Line by Line, so my husband and I decided to go.  It was their 111th Convention, and we met hobos of all ages and from all walks of life.  It was fascinating.  So I decided to write a book about the hobo culture that includes interviews with many of the hobos we met in Britt.  The book also describes their traditions, such as their campfire ceremony, their ceremony to honor those who have “caught the Westbound,” which means hobos who have passed away, and their election of a national Hobo King and Queen.  I hope to release this book by the end of summer.

Stephanie: What advice would you give when writing Historical Fiction?

 Barbara: Get the details right! Even the little things are important. I made small adjustments as I wrote: from deciding to use string instead of duct tape for Maddy’s box in the pantry, to using old railroad maps to chart Maddy’s possible course.

Stephanie: Where do you see the self-publishing market in five to ten years?

Barbara: I think self-publishing will continue to grow. Even well-established authors are now trying it out. I think one big advantage is that self-publishing can be primarily about the literature–not about whether a book can make a profit for a big publishing house. I think as authors, we have the responsibility to make sure the stories are as good as they can be, and well edited, so that self-published titles are recognized as being as good or better than “traditionally published” titles. And organizations like BRAG and sites like Layered Pages contribute by providing independent recommendations for readers–and help get the word out!

How did you discover BRAG?

I discovered them when they emailed me to tell me of the BRAG medallion award! I was familiar with Goodreads, but hadn’t heard about indieBrag. I’m very happy that they found me!

 Stephanie: What is your favorite genre to read?

 Well, I love historical fiction, but I read books in lots of genres. I just appreciate really good writing, no matter the genre.

Stephanie: What are you currently reading right now?

 I just finished Astray, by Emma Donohue. It’s a collection of short stories that are each based on a snippet of a newspaper item. Some of the stories are set in the 19th century. Now I’m reading Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, by Lee Smith, and House of Earth, the newly discovered novel by Woody Guthrie.

 Stephanie: Barbara, thank you so much for chatting with me today!

 Barbara: My pleasure! And thank you for supporting and promoting independent authors!

About Author:

 

Barbara Hacha

Barbara Hacha’s historical novel, Line by Line, was published in March 2011. She writes both fiction and nonfiction and is a freelance editor of textbooks in the humanities, computer books, and works of fiction.  She is also a photographer who occasionally exhibits in the Cleveland area. She lives in northeast Ohio with her husband, Jim. This is her debut novel.

Website: www.mediamixpro.com

A Message from BRAG:

We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Barbara Hacha who is the author of, Line by Line, one of our medallion honorees at www.bragmedallion.com . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Line by Line merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt

Rocamora book cover

About ROCAMORA

*2012 Finalist International Book Awards for Historical

Fiction

Publication Date: September 26, 2011

Raven’s Wing Books

Paperback; 408p
ISBN-10: 1618070150

Rocamora, a novel of 17th century Spain, is based on the life of Vicente de Rocamora, who struggles to make his place in a Spain obsessed with limpieza de sangre, purity of blood untainted by Jew, Moor, or recent convert.

Poet, swordsman, and master of disguise, at the insistence of his family, Vicente enters the Dominican Order and is soon thrust into the scheming political and clerical hierarchies that at Court.

Vicente becomes Confessor and Spiritual Director for King Philip IV’s teenage sister, the beautiful Infanta Doña María, five years younger than he, protégé and possible successor of Inquisitor General Sotomayor, and an invaluable assistant to the King’s chief minister, the Count-Duke de Olivares.

Vicente needs all his skills and cunning to survive assassination by a growing list of ruthless foes in both Church and Court, solve a centuries-old riddle to quell rumors of his own impurity of blood, and above all suppress his love for the seemingly unattainable María.

Rocamora Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6OtI

My review for,”Rocamora”

I have not read very many novels that center around 17th Century Spain, so I don’t know a whole lot about the culture and history. But as you read this story, one can tell this novel is certainly rich with history and has sparked my interest in learning more. One of the great things about Historical Fiction is if the author can pull enough fiction into to it to make it believable and Platt as done that. Well written and beautifully crafted, complex characters, court intrigue, bold themes. Some are dark and graphic but I was able to handle that alright. Fantastic plot with a-ahem-interesting ending. This novel will most definitely entertain you and many of you will admire Vicente, even though you might not approve of his choices. He is a wonderful, intelligent, brave and interesting man.

Through this tale I have learned a lot more of the Roman Church during this period and look forward to doing a little research of my own. My Spanish is a bit rusty, so I had some trouble with the Spanish words through-out. It was a small distraction for me but by no means did it take away from the story. I highly recommend and I can’t wait to read, “House of Rocamora!” below is some information about it. Check it out!

About HOUSE OF ROCAMORA

House of R

Publication Date: November 19, 2012

Raven’s Wing Books

Paperback; 346p
ISBN-10:1618070916

A new life and a new name … House of Rocamora, a novel of the 17th century, continues the exceptional life of roguish Vicente de Rocamora, a former Dominican friar, confessor to the Infanta of Spain, and almost Inquisitor General.

After Rocamora arrives in Amsterdam at age forty-two, asserts he is a Jew, and takes the name, “Isaac,” he revels in the freedom to become whatever he chooses for the first time in his life. Rocamora makes new friends, both Christian and Jew, including scholars, men of power and, typically, the disreputable. He also acquires enemies in the Sephardic community who believe he is a spy for the Inquisition or resent him for having been a Dominican.

As Isaac Israel de Rocamora, he studies Medicine at Leyden and, at age forty-six, receives a license to practice. That same year Rocamora weds twenty-five year old Abigail Touro, and together they raise a large family. During his time in Amsterdam, Rocamora has a bizarre encounter with Rembrandt, serves the House of Orange as physician, and advises Spinoza before the philosopher’s excommunication. He survives a murder attempt, learns from the great English physician Harvey, and a surprise visit from a childhood friend leads to an unusual business venture.

Life is never routine or dull for Rocamora. The intrigues start with his arrival in Amsterdam and do not end until he takes his last breath.

About the Author

Donald

Born and raised inside San Francisco, I graduated from Lowell High School and received my B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley and won a batch of literary cash awards while in graduate school at San Jose State.

When I moved to southern California, I began my professional writing career. I sold to the TV series, MR. NOVAK, ghosted YOUR HAIR AND YOUR DIET for health food guru, Dan Dale Alexander, and wrote for and with diverse producers, among them as Harry Joe Brown, Sig Schlager, Albert J. Cohen, and Al Ruddy as well as Paul Stader Sr., dean of Hollywood stuntman and stunt/2nd unit director. Also, options were taken on my unpublished WWII fighter ace novel and several treatments.

After living in Florianópolis, Brazil, setting of my horror novel A GATHERING OF VULTURES, Dark Hart 2007, Briona Glen 2012, I moved to Florida where I wrote as a with: VITAMIN ENRICHED, pub.1999, for Carl DeSantis, founder of Rexall Sundown Vitamins; and THE COUPLE’S DISEASE, Finding a Cure for Your Lost “Love” Life, pub. 2002, for Lawrence S. Hakim, MD, FACS, Head of Sexual Dysfunction Unit at the Cleveland Clinic.

Currently, I reside in Winter Haven,

Florida. My magnum opus historical novel, ROCAMORA, set in 17th century Spain and Amsterdam during their Golden Ages, was released by RAVEN’S WING BOOKS at the end of December 2008. It has been republished by Briona Glen, September 2011. My completed sequel HOUSE OF ROCAMORA was published by Briona Glen November 2012, and I am polishing a completed novel set in the 9th century Carolingian Empire about another unusual historical character, Bodo, the Apostate.

www.donaldmichaelplatt.com

Rocamora banner

Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/donaldmichaelplattvirtualtour/
Twitter Hashtag: #DonaldMichaelPlattVirtualTour

Review: Seduction by M.J. Rose

seduction book cover

Publication Date:  May 7, 2013
Atria Books
Hardcover; 384p
ISBN-10: 1451621507
SYNOPSIS: From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries.

In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.

Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.

What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.

 

My Review:

I was so delighted to be able to participate in this book tour. I have not read any of M.J. Rose before and she now has a new fan. What an interesting and intense premise for a story, one I’ve not quite read. There are so many wonderful characters in this story. One of them being Victor Hugo. An author who lived in the nineteenth century. All I really knew about him was his extraordinary talent for storytelling and have read several of his novels. This tale gives you a look into his personal life. His daughter lost her life and I believe he was always haunted by her death. Years later, He began dabbling in séances hoping to contact her. By doing so, he opens a window to an evil force.

In the present, Jac L’Etoile-a women who is recovering from a loss as well-travels to the Isle of Jersey at the request of an old friend. Jac is a mythologist and is wanting to uncover mysteries and secrets of the island. She and her friend discover journals that was written by Victor Hugo.

There is so much more to this story, but I don’t want to give anything away. As your reading this story, you feel as if you are finding an unexpected gift in every page. Hard to describe really. I was instantly absorbed with the imaginative writing. Beautiful prose throughout, suspenseful, descriptive, romantic, mystical- but realistic at the same time- and haunting. I was completely memorized by this tale.

I really admire an author who writes characters in such a way you can connect to them on some level. Even some of the characters’ you will have a love/ hate regard for them. After reading this story, I want to read the whole series now. I highly recommend this brilliantly written novel. I’m giving it a five star rating.

Stephanie

About the Author

M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com.  The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of

International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype.  She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Link to Tour Scheadule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/seductionvirtualtour/
Twitter Hashtag: #SeductionVirtualTour

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