Friday, March 30, 2018

1 The Children’s Book Review's 10th Anniversary Giveaway! #TCBRturns10

The Children’s Book Review's 10th Anniversary Giveaway!


Enter for a chance to win a special prize pack that will help a lucky reader create a fun kids reading nook—including a framed TCBR original print created by children’s author & illustrator Alexandra MacVean.

One (1) winner receives:

A framed and matted TCBR original “Growing Readers” print. Frame size: 12.25 X 12.25



A Black Stripe Teepee from Crate and Kids



A copy of 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up, autographed by Bianca Schulze


A $20 Target gift card

Value: $291.95

Giveaway begins March 30, 2018, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends April 30, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Giveaway open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.

Prizes provided by The Children’s Book Review



https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2018/03/tcbr-turned-10-win-an-amazing-growing-readers-prize-pack.html




ABOUT THE PRIZE PACK

TCBR Original “Growing Readers Print
Alexandra MacVean was commissioned to create a commemorative illustration that honors 10 years of The Children’s Book Review’s mission of growing readers. She is a professional award-winning, freelance children’s illustrator who creates vibrant, whimsical illustrations for children’s books, greeting cards, and more. Her desire is to touch the lives of adults and children alike, bringing some sort of hope, peace and love along the way. The 6″ x 6″ print is surrounded by white mat and a thin white frame that looks great in any space.


Black Stripe Teepee
Crate and Kids Overview: Our black and white teepee has a simple yet bold design that can match all types of home decor. Plus, this striped play teepee is crafted from durable cotton canvas and bamboo, so it’ll last and last.


101 Books To Read Before You Grow Up
Written by Bianca Schulze
Illustrated by Shaw Nielsen

Publisher’s Synopsis: 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up provides a comprehensive list of kid-friendly books for children to read before they grow up. This must-read review list acts as an interactive journal where kids can document the books they read, why they like them, and how they rate them. Divided into sections by subject, from fairy tales and fantasy to sports and nonfiction, 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Upcelebrates the importance of reading and encourages family participation to develop lifelong readers. The perfect reference guide for book lovers of all ages, 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up helps both kids and parents decide which books to read next!

Ages 5-11 | Walter Foster Jr. | October 10, 2016 | 978-1633221697

AVAILABLE HERE: http://amzn.to/2cEPtJT


ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW

The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association For Library Service To Children) Great Web Sites For Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literature and literacy. TCBR publishes reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. TCBR also produces author and illustrator interviews and shares literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers and librarians to grow readers. Bianca Schulze is the founder of TCBR and the bestselling author of 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up (Walter Foster Jr. 2016), an Amazon “Best Book of the Month” in October 2016.




TOUR SCHEDULE

March 30
Giveaway
April 2
Interview
April 3
Giveaway
April 5
Interview
April 6
Giveaway
April 9
Interview
April 10
Giveaway
April 12
Interview
April 18
Giveaway
April 20
Interview
April 25
Giveaway


DISCLOSURE

Per FTC guidelines, I work in partnership with The Children’s Book Review. I will receive small compensation for this post.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

1 Giveaway: The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George


Thanks to Berkley & NAL, Penguin Random House, I have a paperback copy to give away to a lucky reader. And you're in for a treat! I've read and enjoyed The Confessions of Young Nero and now you can too! To enter, you must be at least 13 years of age. You must also have a U.S. mailing address. Please read our entire giveaway policy before entering. 




Behind each Roman Emperor’s climb to power lie the grand ambitions and chilling machinations of those closest to him. And none match the spectacularly theatrical and fraught sequences that carried a sixteen-year-old boy from the periphery of the royal family directly into the palace and then placed him on its throne.

New York Times bestselling author Margaret George has brought history to vivid life with her critically-acclaimed biographical novels of historical figures including Helen of Troy, Mary Magdalene, Cleopatra, Mary Queen of Scots, and Henry VIII. Now, she casts her eye to the last member of Julius Caesar’s dynasty, to remold and humanize the boy of whom history has made a caricature. Emperor Nero, who ascended to Rome’s ultimate seat of power at sixteen, is enshrined in popular memory as a hedonist, a tyrant, and cunning executioner. But the truth behind the caricature reveals a boy, an artist, an athlete, and a ruler who was both a product of his time and his mother Agrippina’s relentless ambition.

THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO (Berkley Paperback Reprint; March 20, 2018; $18) is written, like Robert Graves’s I, Claudius, in the form of an autobiography. It reveals with luminescent detail Nero’s complex talents and successes, his childhood, his rise to power, and his instinct for self-preservation which first took root on the moonlit night his insane uncle, the Emperor Caligula, tried to drown him.

Nero’s life—riddled with murders, rivalries, plots, orgies, and incest—is sensational on its own. But for George, THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO is not just an opportunity to tell his story. It is an attempt to rehabilitate his image, and to expose the truth and complexities about both a man—and a time period—that has been much mythologized. George spent five years researching the novel, but her idea of resetting Nero’s villainous reputation has been building for more than thirty.

When he is just a small child, Nero’s mother, Agrippina, is released from exile by her elderly uncle—the newly crowned Emperor Claudius. Agrippina quickly plucks Nero from his modest upbringing, and embarks on a ruthless pruning of the family tree to ensure what she believes is her son’s rightful place in the Palace. Her naked ambition, cunning, and well-placed doses of poison help the obstacles fall one by one, until a teenage boy is given control of an Empire. Both tempted and terrified to assume his reign, Nero’s indoctrination into the incest, violence, luxury, and intrigue that have gripped Rome’s seat of power for generations will shape him into the man he was fated to become. 

George covers the unfolding of Nero’s life and legacy, including his forced marriage to his cousin Octavia at fifteen; his passion for a beautiful ex-slave and other love affairs; the influence of the great philosopher Seneca on his reign; and his attentiveness to his political duties, including the improvement of Rome’s courts and public amenities. George uses Nero’s expansion of theatres, athletic games, chariot races, and musical performances as a window into the powerful artistic and athletic impulses that governed him, and which made him a champion of the common man—the men among whom he’d begun his life as “Lucius,” until fate made him forever “Nero.”

Like Mary Beard’s revisionist history of ancient Rome, SPQRNERO both challenges our assumptions of that time period and taps into readers’ fascination with the Empire. Readers of Philippa Gregory will adore and find much to discover in George’s latest novel.

The author will continue Nero’s story in a second book this fall, THE SPLENDOR BEFORE THE DARK, which picks up during the ill-fated, final four years of his young life, as he faces his biggest test and challenge: the Great Fire of Rome.

About the Author
Margaret George is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels of biographical historical fiction, including Elizabeth I, Helen of Troy, Mary, Called Magdalene, The Memoirs of Cleopatra, The Autobiography of Henry VIII, and Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles. She also has written a children’s book, Lucille Lost.

The CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO
Berkley Paperback Reprint | March 20, 2018 | ISBN: 9780451473394| $18.00

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

0 Death of an Unsung Hero is now available!

Death of an Unsung Hero by Tessa Arlen in the fourth book in Lady Monfort Mystery series and is in stores now. I'm so excited to read this book that I wanted to share this with you in case you haven't had the pleasure of reading this series. This series is fantastic whether you love mysteries or not. 




Booklist recently called DEATH OF AN UNSUNG HERO “a winning historical mystery” and Publishers Weekly claims “The surprising solution will reward careful readers. The way Arlen integrates the traumas of WWI into a golden age whodunit plot will please Charles Todd fans.”

The horrific tragedies taking place in the trenches of World War I drive many injured soldiers to the auxiliary hospitals in rural England. While most are there to recuperate, one officer is in even more danger away from the battlefield. Author Tessa Arlen returns us to the universe of Lady Montfort and her pragmatic housekeeper Mrs. Jackson in DEATH OF AN UNSUNG HERO with more secrets, intrigue, and charming descriptions of the English countryside.

Summary


Lady Montfort and her pragmatic housekeeper Mrs. Jackson investigate a murder of a WWI officer with amnesia in the 20th-century English countryside.

Building on the success of her last three mysteries in the same series, Tessa Arlen returns us to the same universe in Death of an Unsung Hero with more secrets, intrigue, and charming descriptions of the English countryside.

In 1916, the world is at war and the energetic Lady Montfort has persuaded her husband to offer the dower house to the War Office as an auxiliary hospital for officers recovering from shell-shock with their redoubtable housekeeper Mrs. Jackson contributing to the war effort as the hospital’s quartermaster.

Despite the hospital’s success, the farming community of Haversham, led by the Monfort’s neighbor Sir Winchell Meacham, does not approve of a country-house hospital for men they consider to be cowards. When Sir Evelyn Bray, one of the patients, is found lying face down in the garden with his head bashed in, both Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson have every reason to fear that the War Office will close their hospital. Once again the two women unite their diverse talents to discover who would have reason to murder a war hero suffering from amnesia.

Friday, March 16, 2018

0 Review: A Different Kind of Evil



Two months after the events of A Talent for Murder, during which Agatha Christie “disappeared,” the famed mystery writer’s remarkable talent for detection has captured the attention of British Special Agent Davison.

Now, at his behest, she is traveling to the beautiful Canary Islands to investigate the strange and gruesome death of Douglas Greene, an agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service. As she embarks on a glamorous cruise ship to her destination, she suddenly hears a scream. Rushing over to the stern of the liner, she witnesses a woman fling herself over the side of the ship to her death.

After this shocking experience, she makes it to the Grand Hotel in a lush valley on the islands. There, she meets a diverse and fascinating cast of characters, including two men who are suspected to be involved in the murder of Douglas Greene: an occultist similar to Aleister Crowley; and the secretary to a prominent scholar, who may also be a Communist spy. But Agatha soon realizes that nothing is what it seems here and she is surprised to learn that the apparent suicide of the young woman on the ocean liner is related to the murder of Douglas Greene. Now she has to unmask a different kind of evil in this sinister and thrilling mystery.

My Thoughts

After reading A Talent for Murder, I was eager to get back into the trenches with Mrs. Christie. A Different kind of evil takes place just two months after the end of the first novel. I do recommend you reading it first. You may read this novel as a standalone, but I think it would increase your enjoyment of the story to read this series from the beginning. 

Mrs. Christie is working with Special Agent Davidson to solve the murder of his colleague, Douglas Greene, whose death was peculiar. She boards a ship heading to the beautiful Canary Islands, where Greene's body was discovered, only to find that what should be a relaxing experience is anything but relaxing. 

Christie is surround by a cast of interesting characters that all seem to be a bit shady at times, not to mention the suicide she witnessed a few days into her trip. Once she gets to the island, things become trickier than she thought it would be. Bodies start piling up, secrets are revealed, and even worse than that, Christie is having a hard time writing her latest novel. 

Andrew Wilson has created a wonderful series with one of the most beloved authors of all time. I love that he made the Queen of Mystery a character in a mystery of his own. It kind of makes you wonder where she got all her fantastic ideas for the novels she wrote. This is a great series that mystery lovers will enjoy!


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

1 Lady Helena Investigates Blog Tour and Giveaway


Lady Helena Investigates by Jane Steen

Publication Date: March 14, 2018
Aspidistra Press
eBook; 359 Pages
ASIN: B079SMGC7S
Series: Scott-De Quincy Mysteries, Book One
Genre: Historical Mystery


A reluctant lady sleuth finds she’s investigating her own family.

Step into Lady Helena Whitcombe’s world with the first novel in a series that will blend family saga and mystery-driven action with a slow-burn romance in seven unputdownable investigations.

1881, Sussex. Lady Helena Scott-De Quincy’s marriage to Sir Justin Whitcombe, three years before, gave new purpose to a life almost destroyed by the death of Lady Helena’s first love. After all, shouldn’t the preoccupations of a wife and hostess be sufficient to fulfill any aristocratic female’s dreams? Such a shame their union wasn’t blessed by children . . . but Lady Helena is content with her quiet country life until Sir Justin is found dead in the river overlooked by their grand baroque mansion.

The intrusion of attractive, mysterious French physician Armand Fortier, with his meddling theory of murder, into Lady Helena’s first weeks of mourning is bad enough. But with her initial ineffective efforts at investigation and her attempts to revive her long-abandoned interest in herbalism comes the realization that she may have been mistaken about her own family’s past. Every family has its secrets—but as this absorbing series will reveal, the Scott-De Quincy family has more than most.

Can Lady Helena survive bereavement the second time around? Can she stand up to her six siblings’ assumption of the right to control her new life as a widow? And what role will Fortier—who, as a physician, is a most unsuitable companion for an earl’s daughter—play in her investigations?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Praise for The House of Closed Doors Series

"I cannot praise Jane Steen enough for her ability to build a world that captures every essence of an era. She was able to take the singularly focused plot of an unwed teen and wrap her journey with the social, political and cultural values of the day. Within this framework the reader is given an eyewitness experience into the daily realities of homemaking, transportation, fashion, society's value of women and those less fortunate as well historical events such as commerce, war and the Chicago fire."

"I loved this book. It was well written and well edited. The story captured me on the first few pages and held my interest to the last page. I forced myself to close the book at midnight! Moves nicely along from scene to scene. Some of the heroine's choices were not what I expected and when I thought I had unraveled the whole mystery, I hadn't. Just an overall satisfying reading experience! Loved it."

"Engrossing historical fiction that really stays with the characters (who are well-crafted) and doesn't go for the obvious cliches. I loved Nell, the protagonist, and so many others...Martin and Tess especially. I admit I kind of wanted it to end a certain way, but the ending the author chose was a braver one for Nell, and more true to who she'd been throughout the novel. The historical backdrop was interesting, but it was the character work that really drew me in, and the mystery."

"Extremely well written story! I couldn't put it down, and pulled an all-nighter reading it. I was mesmerized by this story, and captivated by the depth of characterization."

About the Author

Jane Steen was born in England and, despite having spent more years out of the British Isles than in, still has a British accent according to just about every American she meets.

Her long and undistinguished career has included a three-year stint as the English version of a Belgian aerospace magazine, an interesting interlude as an editor in a very large law firm, and several hectic years in real estate marketing at the height of the property boom. This tendency to switch directions every few years did nothing for her resume but gave her ample opportunity to sharpen her writing skills and develop an entrepreneurial spirit.

Around the edges of her professional occupations and raising children, she stuck her nose in a book at every available opportunity and at one time seemed on course to become the proverbial eternal student. Common sense prevailed, though, and eventually she had the bright idea of putting her passion for books together with her love of business and writing to become a self-published author.

Jane has lived in three countries and is currently to be found in the Chicago suburbs with her long-suffering husband and two adult daughters.

For more information, please visit Jane Steen's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 12

Tuesday, March 13

Wednesday, March 14
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, March 15

Friday, March 16
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, March 20
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Wednesday, March 21
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, March 27

Wednesday, March 28

Friday, March 30

Tuesday, April 3

Wednesday, April 4

Thursday, April 5
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede

Wednesday, April 11

Thursday, April 12

Friday, April 13
Tour Wrap Up at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two eBooks of Lady Helena Investigates by Jane Steen! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Lady Helena Investigates


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

5 Giveaway: The Child by Fiona Barton




*TIME “Top 10” Summer Thriller*

“It's one part can’t look, two parts can't look away.”TheSkimm

“This being a Barton thriller, there’s more to pretty much everything than meets the eye.”—Boston Globe

“A slow-burn portrait of loss and survival.”—Entertainment Weekly

“A novel that is both fast-paced and thought-provoking, it keeps the reader guessing right to the end. THE CHILD truly is the best of both worlds.”USA Today

“Satisfying…. Long after their secrets are revealed, the author’s compassion for her wounded
characters lingers.”—People

“Ultimately, Barton tells the child’s story as only she can—brilliantly.”—Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

“Multiple narratives mean non-stop action in THE CHILD. . . . the spliced action-narration is an excellent way of reminding you that no crime affects just one person.”—NPR.org

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…

Thanks to Berkley and NAL, I have a copy of The Child by Fiona Barton to give away to a lucky reader. I read this book myself and you're in for a treat! This giveaway is open to US-based addresses only. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Please read our giveaway policy before entering.  Comment below with your email address for your chance to win this novel. One entry per person. Good luck!

Monday, March 5, 2018

0 Review: A Talent for Murder


A Talent For Murder (Agatha Christie #1)
Simon and Schuster | January 2, 2018 | 9781501145070


"I wouldn’t scream if I were you. Unless you want the whole world to learn about your husband and his mistress.”
Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, is boarding a train, preoccupied with the devastating knowledge that her husband is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train. So begins a terrifying sequence of events—for her rescuer is no guardian angel, rather he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind.


“You, Mrs. Christie, are going to commit a murder. But, before then, you are going to disappear.”

Writing about murder is a far cry from committing a crime, and Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her expertise and knowledge about the act of murder to kill on his behalf.

Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, is boarding a train, preoccupied with the devastating knowledge that her husband is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train. So begins a terrifying sequence of events—for her rescuer is no guardian angel, rather he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind.


Writing about murder is a far cry from committing a crime, and Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her expertise and knowledge about the act of murder to kill on his behalf.

My Thoughts


Andrew Wilson has written biographies about Alexander McQueen, Sylvia Plath, and Patricia Highsmith. Now he's taken on the Queen of Mystery: Agatha Christie. While this book is indeed fiction, Wilson uses the famous mystery that has surrounded the author since she disappeared for ten days in the winter of 1926. From the little-known details that exist around that time period, Andrew Wilson has woven a tale of intrigue and murder.

The book begins with Agatha Christie waiting to board a train to meed her agent. She feels someone push her toward the rails then pull her back to safety. But the person who saves her isn't her savior, it's a blackmailer. From the get-go Christie knows this man isn't to be trusted, but he threatens to not only expose her husband's scandalous affair to the world, but also to harm her daughter. 

Christie must use her knowledge of crime to try to get out of the clutches of her blackmailer before any harm can come to her family. This novel takes place during the ten days unaccounted for in 1926 when Christie's whereabouts were unknown and shadows of what could have happened are open to the imagination. 

I knew I had to read A Talent for Murder after reading the summary. The idea that Agatha Christie, who wrote such mysteries better than most, could be caught up in something as fantastic as one of her own plots. I found myself drawn into this book just like a Christie novel. I found the characters complex, the plot intriguing, and the circumstances in which the events took place completely imaginative. A Talent for Murder is a must for mystery lovers. It will keep you guessing!






 

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