Belle o’ the Waters by Raima Larter

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Belle Waters is about to celebrate her fourteenth birthday, and she is terrified. The fear of marriage looms large for her, and every other girl who was born into the Mormon settlement of Salt Lake in the 1850s. She knows it is her duty to marry and bring Heavenly Father’s children into the world, but she’s not interested in tying the knot with anyone—especially not the Prophet, an old man with a number of wives and counting. But when the US Army invades Salt Lake intent on arresting the Prophet, Belle soon realizes that the possibility of becoming a child bride is only the beginning in a series of disastrous threats.

 

Belle o’ the Waters is a work of fiction, but is loosely based on a true historical event: the Mountain Meadows Massacre of September 11, 1857, which sparked a short-lived Mormon War. Although set over a century ago, the themes and issues explored in this novel are extremely relevant to the modern age: religious freedom and extremism, the role and status of women in society, and the contemporary impact of homegrown terrorism. Belle o’ the Waters is a searing exploration of those living within an oppressed community, and an ultimately revelatory novel about what it means to lead a courageous life, despite one’s circumstances.

 REVIEW

A fascinating tale of the courage of a young Mormon girl in the face of some pretty daunting circumstances. The author has crafted a tale of survival in a landscape filled with a natural world both beautiful and dangerous, and a religious calling even more dangerous. Strong, believable characters, a creatively imaginative story line, and a look at a time and place in American history imbued with an iconoclastic mystery, Belle o’ the Waters had me hooked from page one. I especially enjoyed the use of Belle’s journal entries during the tale as they bring into focus the intense situations that arise during her life, and without spoiling anything, she faces much that would break many fourteen year old girls on the verge of womanhood. A page turning delight, with requisite pauses to catch one’s breath, awaits you dear reader. Prepare to be entertained, and perhaps maybe even educated a little about an oft overlooked piece of American History. 4 Stars

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The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt and His Times by Jerome Charyn

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@LiverightPub @jeromecharyn @CowboyKingTR

http://perilousadventuresblogtour.com/

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In this novel, which Kirkus Reviews calls, “colorful, entertaining” in its starred review, Charyn gives new dimension to Roosevelt, revealing Manhattan’s swampy underbelly after the Civil War, TR’s farcical and dangerous expeditions to the Dakota Badlands, and his personal anguish at losing his mother and wife on the same day.  Like the best of E.L. Doctorow, historical detail is supported by a keen grasp of language and marked by a lack of sentimentality about the past.  With a colorful supporting cast—including Buffalo Bill Cody, Eleanor Roosevelt, Leon Czolgosz (President McKinley’s assassin), plus Josephine, the lovable mountain lion who was the mascot of the Rough Riders (seen with Roosevelt on the cover), and the Rough Riders themselves, whom Roosevelt never deserted, THE PERILOUS ADVENTURES OF THE COWBOY KING is historical fiction and Jerome Charyn at their very best.

REVIEW

A captivating tale of the early life, and subsequent rise to the Presidency, of a true American icon. A political maverick from the start, the author gives the reader an intimate look at how and why he became such a pain in the arse to the party powers in New York and D.C. As well as the exciting narrative of TR’s adventures, the author paints a vivid picture of late 19th century politics in America. It is replete with colorfully drawn characters from precinct captains to captains of industry, from Pinkerton’s to down on their luck cowboys. My particular favorite, however, is a cougar named Josephine who forms an amazing bond with TR, and who symbolizes the spirit of The Rough Riders, a ragtag militia formed by TR, and despised by the regular army. That is a prime example of the battles TR had to fight for the little guy against the stranglehold of the wealthy. The Cowboy King is a thoroughly enjoyable look at a fascinating man; his triumphs, his hopes, and the disappointments he endured as a bonafide reformer in a vicious political atmosphere.  4 stars

 

My blog Historical Fiction reviews  has been selected as one of the Top 100 Fiction Blogs on the web.

 

The Tory by T.J. London

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THE TORY BY T.J. LONDON

Publication Date: April 11, 2018
Peperback & eBook; 517 Pages

Series: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga, Book #1
Genre: Historical Fiction

It is the winter of 1776, and Captain John Carlisle, one of His Majesty’s not-so-finest, has gone back to the scene of the crime to right a wrong so dark it left a permanent stain on what was once an illustrious career and left a man broken, defeated, in search of justice…

In an effort to win back his commission, he must discover the true nature of the relationship between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Colonial Army. Undercover as a war profiteer, John travels to the treacherous Mohawk River Valley and infiltrates local society, making friends with those he’s come to betray.

But a chance meeting with a beautiful half Oneida innkeeper, whose tragic history is integrally linked to his own, will provide him with the intelligence he needs to complete his mission—and devastate her people.

Now, as the flames of war threaten to consume the Mohawk Valley, John has the chance to not only serve King and country, but to clear his name. When the truth he uncovers ties his own secrets to those in the highest positions of the British military and threatens the very life of the woman he’s come to love, he will be forced to make a choice…

“The pages fly as you immerse yourself in this fantastic adventure.” – RT Book Review

MY REVIEW

At first I was slightly hesitant about reading this book, at least for the time being, as I am in the process of writing my own novel set during the American Revolution. However, once I determined that the subject matter for The Tory was sufficiently different from mine, my reticence disappeared. Besides, the author and I share hometowns, so how could I say no.  🙂

I  was riveted to this tale from the beginning; a different look at the Revolution, one that takes place on the frontier and features the involvement of the Iroquois Confederacy; especially the tribe that sided with the colonists, The Oneida. I can’t say enough about the emotional suffering, mental anguish, and physical trauma that the two main protagonists endure in this tense drama. There are many sub-plots that are seamlessly weaved into the narrative that highlight the very complicated, increasingly dangerous situation facing John and Dellis. It is, boys and girls, a page turning tale, though I did stop once in a while to catch my breath.  🙂  Meticulously researched, engaging subject matter, and best of all, a tale that will continue in the sequel, The Traitor, I think you will thoroughly enjoy The Tory.  5 Stars

 

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About the Author

T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era. Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 3 sets of both books in Paperback, 3 sets of both books in eBook, and a $50 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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The Day The World Ended at Little Bighorn by Joseph Marshall III

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A fascinating, yet sad, Lakota history.  Most of you already know the events, Washita River, Wounded Knee, Little Bighorn and the main characters; Custer, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull.  But I’m willing to bet that most of what you know was generated by the winners of the war.  The spin doctors of the day did a bang up job reporting the “massacre” of Custer and his command and the resulting hue and cry from the public set in motion the events that finally brought to an end the Lakota (and other tribes) way of life.  Mr. Marshall has brought forth the other side of the story, the story of the Lakota.  Far from being the marauding, hostile savages portrayed by the press, and continuing to this day, what we see is a nation trying desperately and against staggering odds, to protect their freedom, their culture, their ability to roam on land they had used for hundreds of years.  Those are noble pursuits.  Pursuits that even we of the 21st century would deem necessary if we were faced with the same circumstances.  So, dear readers, take a few moments and cherish the freedoms you have and remember the plight of not only the Lakota but of the innumerable peoples and cultures destroyed in the name of progress and greed.  4.4 stars.