Saturday, May 29, 2010

Book review: My Story: The Fall of the Blade by Sue Reid

My Story: The Fall of the Blade: A Girl's French Revolution Diary, 1792-1794 by Sue Reid (Published by Scholastic UK, June 7, 2010)

Isabelle begins her diary in the summer of 1792, when she is thirteen. Raised the privileged daughter of an aristocrat in a chateau outside of Paris, Isabelle is frightened and confused by all the changes brought about by the French Revolution. Because she cannot speak freely of her fears, she begins a diary where she can write down all her thoughts and true feelings as everything in her life changes. Because she was born into an aristocratic family, many of the revolutionaries hate Isabelle and her family simply for who they are.

The news from Paris grows worse every day. The royal family are imprisoned and the king is executed. Many of her friends, neighbors, and relatives have fled to the countryside or left France to seek safety in other countries. Isabelle and her own family eventually leave their home, hoping to find refuge in their old chateau in the countryside, but even there they are not safe forever, and are eventually imprisoned. Throughout this difficult time Isabella keeps writing in her diary, hoping that someday the Revolution will be over, she will be free again, and have her diary as a record of all she went through, to show her own children someday.

The Fall of the Blade is enjoyable addition to the My Story series, and I am glad to see the series branching out recently and featuring books set in places other than England. The French Revolution has always been a time in history I found interesting so I really enjoyed reading Isabelle’s story. I do wish the book had been a bit longer and that the ending had been more detailed as I wanted to know what happened to some of the other characters. But overall this was an enjoyable book that I would recommend to readers who enjoyed other My Story books or books from other similar series such as the Dear America or Royal Diaries series.

In My Mailbox - 5/29/10

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature. Here are my new books for this week.


My Story: The Fall of the Blade by Sue Reid

It's 1792. Isabelle, daughter of an aristocrat, lives in a chateau just outside Paris. But France is in the grip of the Revolution, and as terror takes hold of the city, Isabelle's family decides that they must flee to the countryside. But will they be safe there? Will they escape the guillotine's falling blade...?

Books received at Book Expo America:

Day one:
Day two:

Friday, May 28, 2010

BEA day two

I had a great time at BEA today and met many authors, bloggers, and publicists, and picked up some more books. I also attended the young adult buzz panel which I really liked, as it featured several authors whose books I have been eager to read. Unfortunately I slacked at taking pictures so I only have a few to share. :( I think the first one is actually from a signing yesterday. I will include a list of the books I got at the bottom of the post since some people have been asking. This is just for the books I got today, yesterday's books I posted last night.

Tomorrow is my last day that I am traveling into New York, to attend the Book Blogger Convention. So if you are there, be sure to say hi!

Anyway, on to the (few) pictures! That's me on the right in the first picture.

And the list of books I got today:
Plain Kate by Erin Bow (signed)
Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson (signed)
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Radiance by Alyson Noel (signed)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan (signed)
Unraveled by Gena Showalter (signed)
Black Pioneers: Home is With Our Family by Joyce Hansen
Jane by April Lindner
Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown (signed)
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
Secrets at Camp Nokomis by Jacqueline Dembar Greene (signed)
Kiss Me Deadly (YA paranormal romance anthology with stories by Becca Fitzpatrick, Rachel Vincent, Maggie Stiefvater, and others)
On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells
The Saga of Larten Crepsley by Darren Shan
Prophecy of the Sisters soundtrack CD (not a book, but looks neat)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BEA tomorrow!

I am so excited and can't wait!!! Here is my final list of signings I am hoping to attend. I am also attending the Book Blogger Con on Friday and am hoping to meet many of the bloggers whose blogs I read and follow. Since I am driving to NYC each day, I will be posting from home about BEA on both Wednesday and Thursday night. I may not be at all of these, since I am going to prioritize the ones I want the most if lines are long.

In booth:
The Kulak's Daughter by Gabrielle Goldstone Booth 3777 May 26 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Inside Out by Maria Snyder Booth 3922 May 26 12:00PM - 12:45PM
My Soul to Keep by RacheL Vincent Booth 3922 May 26 12:00PM - 12:45PM
Matched by Ally Condie, booth 3540 May 26, 3:30-4:30PM
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin Booth 4051 May 27 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson May 27 11:30AM - 12:30PM booth 3940
Secrets at Camp Nokomis by Jacqueline Dembar Greene May 27 1:00-2:00 pm booth 2458
Spyglass by Marie Snyder Booth 3922 May 27 2:00PM - 2:45PM
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready Booth 3484 3:00-3:30pm

Autographing Area
Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey May 26 9:30-10:30 Table 20
The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood May 26 1:30-2:00 table 16
Delirium by Lauren Oliver May 26 2:30-3:30 table 30
Zombies Vs Unicorns by Holly Black May 26, 2010 @ 3:00PM - 4:00PM table 17
Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson May 26 3:30-4:00 Table 19
Ascendent - Diana Peterfreund , May 26, 3:30-4pm table 18
Bright Young Things & Splendor by Anna Godbersen May 26, 2010 @ 4:00PM - 4:30PM Table 14
Another Pan - Daniel Nayeri May 26 4:00-5:00 table 27
Nonna's Book of Mysteries by Mary Osborne May 26 4:00-5:00 Table 25
Siren by Trish Rayburn May 27 10:00-10:30 Table 28
Unravaled by Gena Showalter May 27 10:30-11:30 Table 26
Radiance by Alyson Noel May 27 10:30-11:30 Macmillan booth
Mistwood by Leah Cypess May 27, 2010 11:00AM - 11:30AM Table 21
Firelight by Sophie Jordan May 27 11:30-12:30 table 20
The Boneshaker by Kate Milford 11:30-12:30
Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart May 27 1:30 - 2:00 table 29
Forget Her Nots by Amy Brecourt White May 27 3:00-3:30 table 21
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes May 27 2:30-3:30 Table 28
Plain Kate by Erin Bow May 27 3:30PM - 4:30PM Table 18

Saturday, May 22, 2010

In My Mailbox - 5/22/10

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature. Here are my new books for this week. This is my last pre-BEA IMM, so be sure to check back next weekend if you want to see what books I pick up there!

For review:

Deceptions: A Haunting Emma Novel by Lee Nichols

When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett. But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.

The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Twelve-year-old Livie is living with a secret and it's crushing her. She knows she is responsible for her mother's coma, but she can't tell anyone. It's up to her to find a way to wake her momma up.
Stuck in the middle of three sisters, hiding a forbidden pet alligator, and afraid to disappoint her daddy, whom she loves more than anyone else, Livie struggles to find her place within her own family as she learns about the powers of faith and redemption. Livie's powerful, emotional, and sometimes humorous story will stay with readers long after the last line is read.

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.
Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.
With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.
Well, if she believed in that stuff.

Early to Death, Early to Rise by Kim Harrison

Madison Avery's dreams of ever fitting in at her new school died when she did. Especially since she was able to maintain the illusion of a body, deal with a pesky guardian angel, and oh yeah, bring the reaper who killed her to his untimely end. Not exactly in-crowd material. It's amazing that her crush, Josh, doesn't think she's totally nuts.
Now Madison has learned that she's the dark timekeeper, in charge of angels who follow the murky guidelines of fate. Never one to abide by the rules, she decides it's time for a major change to the system. With the help of some unlikely allies, Madison forms a rogue group of reapers who definitely don't adhere to the rules of the heavens.
But as she grapples with the terrifying new skills that come with being a timekeeper, Madison realizes she may not be prepared for what lies ahead—unless she gets some seriously divine intervention.

Everlasting by Angie Frazier

Sailing aboard her father’s trade ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a girl of society in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn’t love, or condemn herself and her father to poverty.
On her final voyage before the wedding, the stormy arms of the Tasman Sea claim her father, and a terrible family secret is revealed. A secret intertwined with a fabled map, the mother Camille has long believed dead, and an ancient stone that wields a dangerous—and alluring—magic.
The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar, a handsome young sailor whom she is undeniably drawn to. Torn between trusting her instincts and keeping her promises to her father, Camille embarks on a perilous quest into the Australian wilderness to find the enchanted stone. As she and Oscar elude murderous bushrangers and unravel Camille’s father’s lies, they come closer to making the ultimate decision of who—and what—matters most. (This is actually the second copy I got, because this is the finished hardcover and I got the ARC a while back. So my review should be up soon)


Starlighter by Bryan Davis

Jason Masters doubted the myths: people taken through a portal to another realm and enslaved by dragons. But when his brother is taken, he must uncover the truth and find the portal before it's too late. Once he's through the portal, he meets Koren, a slave in the dragons’ realm, who struggles to destroy a black egg prophesied to doom all mankind. Jason and Koren must work together to save their two worlds before the dragons learn that their secrets have been discovered.

The Shadow Hunt by Katherine Langrish

In a lush and vivid world of dark forces, Wolf is on the run from his past, and from the ghosts and demons that haunt the windswept moors of Devil’s Edge. But he is not alone: Along the way he befriends a brave girl named Nest. When they discover a sinister enemy is looming closer than they ever could have imagined, Wolf and Nest must determine the difference between lies and reality—and who they can trust—before it’s too late.

Spirit Hunter by Katy Moran

On the dangerous Silk Road – the age-old trade route that runs all the way from Europe to China – a young woman, Asena, is captured by a Shaolin devotee, Swiftarrow. Asena is taken to the ancient city of Chang'an, where she is forced to begin her life anew and learn the ways of the Shaolin. But just as love blossoms between Asena and her captor, a deadly political game threatens to ruin not only their feelings for each other, but also their lives.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Interview with Janet Fox, author of Faithful

I am very happy to share with my readers my interview with Janet Fox, author of Faithful, which was published on May 13. Faithful is a young adult historical novel set in the early 1900s in Yellowstone.

About Faithful:

In 1904 Margaret Bennet has it all – money, position, and an elegant family home in Newport, Rhode Island. But just as she is to enter society, her mother ruins everything, first with public displays, and finally by disappearing. Maggie’s confusion and loss are compounded when her father drags her to Yellowstone National Park, where he informs her that they will remain. At first Maggie’s only desire is to return to Newport. But the mystical beauty of the Yellowstone landscape, and the presence of young Tom Rowland, a boy unlike the others she has known, conspire to change Maggie from a spoiled girl willing to be constrained by society to a free-thinking and brave young woman living in a romantic landscape at the threshold of a new century.

Faithful has a rather unique setting for a young adult historical novel. What inspired you to tell this story, and in this place and time?

My family has a cabin in the mountains of Montana and we’d visited Yellowstone a number of times; I’d always thought it would make a fantastic setting for a novel. I had just started writing for children, and was on a search for new ideas. On a hike near the cabin one morning, I said to my husband – who is my first reader – “what if I told a story about a girl in historical times who visited Yellowstone?” And the germ of the idea was born. This was not long after I’d lost my own mom; so I wanted to tell a story about a relationship between a mother and daughter. Once I began writing and researching and learned that the Old Faithful Inn was opened in June 1904, I decided that that time period and place had much to offer: the birth of a new century, women’s rights, a spectacular hotel in a spectacular setting. It all fit together perfectly.

What kind of research did you do for the novel?

Quite a bit. I visited every museum I could in the region. I spent time in the Park gathering information – the rangers were wonderful resources, and there are lectures almost every night. There’s also a new Research Center in Gardiner, and the curators allowed me access to some of the archival material (I was able to read the log book from the Superintendent in 1904, for example.) But the internet, too, is a treasure. You just have to be picky and careful and make sure that the information you gather there can be documented.

What do you hope readers will learn from Maggie's story?

Maggie learns to discover who she is by accepting who she is – and who her mother was. For teens, that’s at the heart of finding yourself, of becoming comfortable in your own skin: you have to accept yourself. And Maggie faced hurdles that girls today don’t have to deal with – enforced marriage, corsets, expectations of behavior. I hope readers realize how lucky we all are not to have those constraints; but also I hope they realize that being different is okay. You don’t have to conform to others’ expectations.

Were any of the characters in Faithful inspired by real people?

Not really. Well, maybe Kitty. I had a girlfriend in high school who snaked my boyfriend. I wonder if she’ll know who she is…

If you could go back in time for a day and be guaranteed safety, what place and time would you like to visit?

I’d love to see my mom again…but if it was an historical time, I think I’d like to see life in Elizabethan England. Just for a day. I’d love to walk around in London and see and hear and smell (well, maybe not smell) the city. I’d especially love to examine the clothing as worn by the upper classes. I bet the clothes of the upper classes were gorgeous.

What will your next book be?

My next book is FORGIVEN, due out in June 2011. It’s set in 1906 in San Francisco, at the time of the great earthquake and fires. And the novel follows a secondary character from FAITHFUL, but if I tell which character, I might give away some secrets.

When you aren't writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?

I love to garden. I’ve grown everything from vegetables to flowers. We’ve been living in Texas for 15 years and that’s been something of a challenge: I’ve learned all about xeriscape and desert plants. I’m looking forward to our next chapter, when we move back north – we want to live in Montana year round – and I can grow real northern flowers again. Oh – I also love to hike. Hiking clears my mind of all the debris and allows me space to imagine.

What is your favorite book/author?

I would have to admit Jane Austin is my favorite, and it’s a toss-up between Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Sure! Please come visit me on my blog,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry

Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry (Published by Bloomsbury, October 12, 2010)

In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's son. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the prince's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .

This sounds just like the kind of fantasy novel I love to read! I don't think there's a final cover picture available yet but I saw one in a catalogue that was really pretty but I didn't post it with this because I'm not sure it's the final cover.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review: Horse Diaries: Bell's Star by Alison Hart

Horse Diaries: Bell's Star by Alison Hart (Published by Random House, March 24, 2009)

Bell’s Star, or Star as the family he works for calls him, is born in the spring of 1850 on a Vermont farm where a mother and father live with their young daughter, Katie. From the start, young Katie loves Star, and has a strong bond with the horse. Star likes Katie and her family, but he hates work and wishes he could just run free, a longing that Katie often shares as she must do many chores around the farm to help her family.

Three years pass, and it is now the spring of 1853. The Fugitive Slave Law recently became law, and now it is a crime to help runaway slaves escape to freedom in nearby Canada. When Katie is riding Star in the woods, she finds Eliza, a young slave girl who is trying to escape to Canada where she hopes to find the family she was recently separated from. Katie decides she must help Eliza find her mother again, and she needs Star’s help to do so. She must keep this a secret not only from slave catchers but her own family, who would not want her involved because it is dangerous to help a runaway slave.

Bell’s Star is a very sweet and simple read that is sure to be enjoyed by the target audience of young readers, particularly girls, who enjoy horse stories or historical fiction. The story is fast-paced and teaches history painlessly, and I love the illustrations, they are completely adorable. If you know a young reader who loves history or horses this would be a great book to recommend or to give as a gift.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In My Mailbox - 5/15/10

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature. Here are my new books for this week:

For review:

The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle

Young Tabby Aykroyd has been brought to the dusty mansion of Seldom House to be nursemaid to a foundling boy. He is a savage little creature, but the Yorkshire moors harbor far worse, as Tabby soon discovers. Why do scores of dead maids and masters haunt Seldom House with a jealous devotion that extends beyond the grave?
As Tabby struggles to escape the evil forces rising out of the land, she watches her young charge choose a different path. Long before he reaches the old farmhouse of Wuthering Heights, the boy who will become Heathcliff has doomed himself and any who try to befriend him.

Nonna's Book of Mysteries by Mary Osborne

At age fourteen, all Emilia Serafini wants is to learn to paint so that she can become an artist. But painters’ apprenticeships for young women don’t exist in the Florence of Renaissance Italy. The odds appear stacked against her until she receives a fascinating book, A Manual to the Science of Alchemy. It was once her grandmother’s and Emilia turns again and again to the Manual for guidance.
When Emilia meets the wealthy, brooding Franco Villani, her life takes a thrilling, but dangerous turn. Franco will do anything to win a place in the court of the powerful Cosimo de’Medici. Well aware that Cosimo prizes ancient manuscripts above all, Franco realizes Emilia’s Manual would be invaluable to him in more ways than one.


The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucía Álvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.
As the revolution's impact becomes more oppressive, Lucía's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States—on their own. Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucía struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she ever see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?

Folly by Marthe Jocelyn

Three fates intertwine in this moving and passionate love story set in Victorian London.

Mary Finn: country girl, maid to a lord in London
Caden Tucker: liar, scoundrel, and heart's delight
James Nelligan: age six, tossed into a herd of boys
When Mary Finn falls into the arms of handsome Caden Tucker, their frolic changes the course of her life. What possesses her? She's been a girl of common sense until now. Mary's tale alternates with that of young James Nelligan, a new boy in an enormous foundling home.
In Folly, Marthe Jocelyn's breathtaking command of language, detail, and character brings Victorian London to life on every page, while the deep emotions that illuminate this fascinating novel about life-changing moments are as current as today's news.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Pegasus by Robin McKinley

Pegasus by Robin McKinley (Published by Putnam, November 2, 2010)

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.
But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close—so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

After historical fiction, high fantasy is my 2nd favorite genre, and this book looks like it will be a really good addition to the genre. And the cover is really pretty.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In My Mailbox - 5/8/10

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature. Here are my new books for this week:

For review:

Ivy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Ardendale there lived a spirited princess named Ivy, who had no interest in being rescued by Prince Charming, and an undersized dragon named Elridge, who was better at solving word puzzles than breathing fire. Sailing into this world on a ship made of whale bones came Romil, a handsome prince with dastardly designs on Princess Ivy and her kingdom. Ivy and Elridge, both disappointments to their families, join forces to try and thwart Romil's evil plot. In the process these traditional enemies become fast friends, discover hidden strengths, and earn the respect of all who know them.

Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Although Laurel has come to accept her true identity as a faerie, she refuses to turn her back on her human life—and especially her boyfriend, David—to return to the faerie world.
But when she is summoned to Avalon, Laurel's feelings for the charismatic faerie sentry Tamani are undeniable. She is forced to make a choice—a choice that could break her heart. (I already had an ARC from Strand, but this copy is a pretty hardcover so I will probably keep it for my collection. I also got a paperback copy of Wings, the first book, which I already reviewed last year:

Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller

Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages inhabited by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she's always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in the community. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered and she is forced to make difficult choices about a new life and the man she left behind.
Berta Schumacher has lived a privileged life in Chicago, and when her parents decide they want a simpler life in Amana, Iowa, she resists. Under the strictures of the Amana villages, Berta's rebellion reaches new heights. Will her heart ever be content among the plain people of Amana?

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Witson

Sixteen Civil War widows living in St. Louis respond to a series of meetings conducted by a land speculator who lures them west by promising "prime homesteads" in a "booming community." Unbeknownst to them, the speculator's true motive is to find an excuse to bring women to the fledging community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes they will accept marriage proposals shortly after their arrival!
Sparks fly when these unsuspecting widows meet the men who are waiting for them. These women are going to need all the courage and faith they can muster to survive these unwanted circumstances—especially when they begin to discover that none of them is exactly who she appears to be.


Chasing Orion by Kathryn Lasky

Eleven-year-old Georgie loves science-fiction movies, but she won’t be going to the theater anytime soon. It’s a hot Indiana summer in 1952, and public places from pools to camps are closing to slow the spread of polio. Despite all the headlines, Georgie never thought she’d come as close to the fearful disease as she does when she spies a silver glint in her neighbor’s yard. There she discovers a monstrous, hissing machine, and inside is Phyllis, a girl encased in an iron lung. "I have eighty-seven cubic centimeters of air, but you have the world," Phyllis tells her. Phyllis’s ability to breathe may be limited, but her strength to manipulate is boundless. As Georgie struggles to comprehend this once-gorgeous teenager’s life in a "coffin with legs," Phyllis slowly weaves a web of lies that snare all those around her, including Georgie’s quickly smitten brother. Can Georgie untangle the truth before Phyllis’s deception achieves its inevitable end?

The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle by Deva Fagan

All Prunella wants is to be a proper bog-witch. Unfortunately, her curses tend to do more good than harm. When her mixed-up magic allows a sneaky thief to escape her grandmother’s garden, Prunella is cast out until she can prove herself.
It’s hard enough being exiled to the unmagical Uplands, but traveling with the smug young thief Barnaby is even worse. He’s determined to gain fame and fortune by recovering the missing Mirable Chalice. And to get what she wants, Prunella must help him, like it or not.

The Runaway Settlers by Elsie Locke

The year is 1859 and the Small family arrives in the Canterbury colony without a penny to their name. Mother and six children have a hard beginning to their new life - all the more since they are runaways from a cruel father and husband in Australia. But there are adventures ahead...
This long-established and well-loved classic by renowned author Elsie Locke was first published in 1965.

My Story: Roman Invasion by Jim Eldridge

It’s 84 AD when Bran, a prince of the Carvetii tribe, is captured by the Romans. A legion of soldiers is marching east to build a military road. It’s hostile country, and Bran is to go with them as a hostage to ensure the legion’s safety . . . but no one is safe in newly conquered Britain.

May 2010 historical fiction feature - Colonial America, part two

Since I love historical fiction so much, a couple of months ago I decided to start a monthly feature on my blog where I would post about books covering a certain time period or topic in the middle grade & young adult historical fiction genres. In March I posted about Tudor England historical fiction, and in April I blogged about historical fiction about people of color, along with a guest post from Ari of Reading in Color.

This month, I will be posting about another time period I love, Colonial America. This era began in the late 1500s with the early settlements in North America, and continued until the beginning of the American Revolution in 1775 (which I will probably be posting about next month!). There are many interesting historical stories from this era, particularly in the years leading up to the war. Most of the books I am including on this list are ones I read and enjoyed, but a few are from my reading pile. In addition to books set in the United States, I am also including a few books set in Canada during this time period, since it's basically the same historical era. This time around, I am splitting the young adult and middle grade books into two separate posts, so that this post isn't so long!

Young adult books:

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill: A novel in verse told from the alternating perspectives of three young women involved in the Salem Witch Trials. (to be published in July 2010)

Time of the Witches by Anna Myers: Orphaned Drucilla finds a home with the beautiful but troubled Mistress Putnam as accusations of witchcraft start to swirl in Salem Village.

Beyond the Burning Time by Kathryn Lasky: When, in the winter of 1691, accusations of witchcraft surface in her small New England village, twelve-year-old Mary Chase fights to save her mother from execution.

Witch Child by Celia Rees: In 1659, fourteen-year-old Mary Newbury keeps a journal of her voyage from England to the New World and her experiences living as a witch in a community of Puritans near Salem, Massachusetts.

I Am Regina by Sally M. Keehn: In 1755, as the French and Indian War begins, ten-year-old Regina is kidnapped by Indians in western Pennsylvania, and she must struggle to hold onto memories of her earlier life as she grows up under the name of Tskinnak and starts to become Indian herself.

Paradise by Joan Elizabeth Goodman: In 1542, eager to escape the French Huguenot household of her harsh father, sixteen-year-old Marguerite de la Rocque sails with her equally stern uncle, the Sieur de Roberval, to the New World, where she is left alone on an island with only her young Catholic lover and her chaperone to help her survive.

Trouble's Daughter by Katherine Kirkpatrick: When her family is massacred by Lenape Indians in 1643, nine-year-old Susanna, daughter of Anne Hutchinson, is captured and raised as a Lenape.

The Ransom of Marcy Carter by Caroline Cooney: In 1704, in the English settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts, eleven-year-old Mercy and her family and neighbors are captured by Mohawk Indians and their French allies, and forced to march through bitter cold to French Canada, where some adapt to new lives and some still hope to be ransomed.

Hang a Thousand Trees With Ribbons by Ann Rinaldi: A fictionalized biography of Phyllis Wheatley who, as a child, was brought to New England to be a slave, and after publishing her first poem when a teenager, gained renown throughout the colonies as an important black American poet.

The Fifth of March by Ann Rinaldi: Fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the Boston household of John and Abigail Adams, is caught up in the colonists’ unrest that eventually escalates into the massacre of March 5, 1770.

A Break With Charity by Ann Rinaldi: While waiting for a church meeting in 1706, Susanna English, daughter of a wealthy Salem merchant, recalls the malice, fear, and accusations of witchcraft that tore her village apart in 1692.

The Color of Fire by Ann Rinaldi: It is 1741 and, as a colony of Britain, America is at war with Spain. Phoebe watches as her town erupts into mass hysteria when the whites in New York City accuse the black slaves of planning an uprising. With people implicating each other at every turn, Phoebe has to decide if she’s willing to save her friend Cuffee from execution, or if her own conscience and quest for freedom will be singed by her indiscretions.

The Secret of Sarah Revere by Ann Rinaldi: Paul Revere’s daughter describes her father’s "rides" and the intelligence network of the patriot community prior to the American Revolution.

Redemption by Julie Chibbaro: Chronicles the arduous journey of a twelve-year-old English girl and her mother as they flee with other religious protesters to the New World in the early 1500’s, and the heartbreak and hope they find when they arrive.

Sister to the Wolf by Maxine Trottier: In 1703 Quebec, Cecile defies convention by purchasing and freeing Lesharo, a Pawnee Indian slave she witnesses being branded, and he, deeply indebted, accompanies her and her father, a coureur de bois, to Fort Detroit.

Katherine: Heart of Freedom by Cameron Dokey: Sixteen-year-old Katherine rescues a handsome young stranger who is fleeing from the loyalists, and soon finds out her own father is secretly involved in American Patriot activities. Disguising herself as a boy, she sets out to help the cause of freedom and finds adventure and love along the way.

The Lyon Saga series by M.L. Stainer: A teenage girl’s experiences as one of the settlers of the “Lost Colony” of Roanoke.

Sarah on Her Own by Karen M. Coombs: Surviving a tortuous sea journey to the New World, fourteen-year-old Sarah finds herself orphaned and facing marriage or servitude if she is to survive and vows to save enough money to return to England.

A World Away by Pauline Francis: A story of the lost colony of Roanoke told from the points of view of two teenagers, a Native girl and an English boy.

A Stolen Life by Jane Louise Curry: In 1758 in Scotland, teenaged Jamesina MacKenzie finds her courage and resolution severely tested when she is abducted by "spiriters" and, after a harrowing voyage across the Atlantic, sold as a bond slave to a Virginia planter.

Bridie of the Wild Rose Inn by Jennifer Armstrong: Arriving in the Massachusetts Bay Colony from Scotland, Bridie is thrilled to be reunited with her parents, but the spirited lass refuses to conform to the strict rules of the colony.

Books from the Sunfire series (young adult historical romance series, loved this series but they are all out of print now): Elizabeth (Salem Witch Trials, 1692), Marilee (1620s Jamestown Colony), Cassie (1750s, girl captured and raised by Indians), Merrie (voyage on the Mayflower and the settling of Plymouth Colony), and Heather (1660s New York Colony)

My Lady, Pocahontas by Kathleen Kudlinski: Nuttagwon, daughter of a minor Pamunkey chief, is still a girl when Pocahontas’s vision of peace between their people and the newly-arrived English colonists bonds the two in a lifelong friendship as they work together to make the vision a reality.

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa M. Klein: When her dalliance with Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered by Queen Elizabeth in 1587, lady-in-waiting Catherine Archer is banished to the struggling colony of Roanoke, where she and the other English settlers must rely on a Croatoan Indian for their survival. (to be published in October 2010)

James Printer: A Novel of Rebellion by Paul Samuel Jacobs: Although he has lived and worked as a printer’s apprentice with the Green family in Cambridge Massachusetts, for many years, James, a Nipmuck Indian, finds himself caught up in the events that lead to a horrible war.

The Serpent Never Sleeps by Scott O'Dell: In the early seventeenth century, Serena Lynn, determined to be with the man she has loved since childhood, travels to the New World and comes to know the hardships of colonial life and the extraordinary Princess Pocahontas.

1609: Winter of the Dead by Elizabeth Massie: Nathaniel and Richard are delighted when Captain John Smith hires them as laborers aboard a ship bound for the New World. They will discover gold! Instead, they find that Virginia is a land of both beauty and terrible hardship. If starvation does not kill them, bitter cold night might.

May 2010 historical fiction feature - Colonial America, part one

Since I love historical fiction so much, a couple of months ago I decided to start a monthly feature on my blog where I would post about books covering a certain time period or topic in the middle grade & young adult historical fiction genres. In March I posted about Tudor England historical fiction, and in April I blogged about historical fiction about people of color, along with a guest post from Ari of Reading in Color.

This month, I will be posting about another time period I love, Colonial America. This era began in the late 1500s with the early settlements in North America, and continued until the beginning of the American Revolution in 1775 (which I will probably be posting about next month!). There are many interesting historical stories from this era, particularly in the years leading up to the war. Most of the books I am including on this list are ones I read and enjoyed, but a few are from my reading pile. In addition to books set in the United States, I am also including a few books set in Canada during this time period, since it's basically the same historical era. This time around, I am splitting the young adult and middle grade books into two separate posts, so that this post isn't so long!

Middle grade books:

Colonial Williamsburg series by Joan Lowery Nixon: Titles are Ann’s Story, Nancy’s Story, Maria’s Story, Will’s Story, Caesar’s Story, and John’s Story. Fictionalized stories about real children who lived in Williamsburg in the years leading up to the American Revolution.

The Royal Diaries: Weetamoo by Patricia Clark Smith: The 1653-1654 diary of a fourteen-year-old Pocasset Indian girl, destined to become a leader of her tribe, describes how her life changes with the seasons, after a ritual fast she undertakes, and with her tribe’s interaction with the English "Coat-men" of the nearby Plymouth Colony.

Dear Canada: Winter of Peril by Jan Andrews: Sophie’s father is determined to travel to the New World and write an epic poem about his adventure, against Sophie and her mother’s wishes. After their long voyage, they arrive to a “new world" indeed. Will they be able to survive the winter in this harsh country?

Dear Canada: Banished From Our Home by Sharon Stewart: Angélique Richard's life is turned upside down when she and her family, along with the people of Grand-Pré, are forced by the British to leave their peaceful home in Acadia. Will she ever see her home again?

Dear Canada: The Death of my Country by Maxine Trottier: Geneviève is terrified that her beloved Québec will fall into British hands . . . and that her brother will not survive the fighting. Set during the French and Indian War.

Dear Canada: Alone in an Untamed Land by Maxine Trottier: Young Hélène St. Onge and her older sister Catherine are orphans. When King Louis XVI orders all men in New France to marry, Catherine becomes a fille du roi, one of the many young women sent to the new world as brides. Hélène will accompany her on the long sea voyage and live with her sister’s new family. But Catherine dies during the gruelling journey, and Hélène finds herself alone in strange new country. New France is a far harsher place than she imagined, with bitter winters and the threat of attack from the Iroquois. Will the new friendships she has made on her long voyage enable her to survive?

My Name is America: The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce by Ann Rinaldi: A fourteen-year-old indentured servant keeps a journal of his experiences on the Mayflower and during the building of Plymouth Plantation in 1620 and 1621

My America: Elizabeth series by Patricia Hermes: Our Strange New Land, The Starving Time, and Season of Promise. The diary of a young girl, describing her life during the early years of the Jamestown colony.

Dear America: Look to the Hills by Patricia McKissack: Brought up in France as the African slave companion of a nobleman’s daughter, thirteen-year-old Zettie records the events of 1763, when she and her mistress escape to the New World where they are inadvertently drawn into the hostilities of the ongoing French and Indian War and, eventually, find a new direction to their lives.

Dear America: A Journey to the New World by Kathryn Lasky: Twelve-year-old Mem presents a diary account of the trip she and her family made on the Mayflower in 1620 and their first year in the New World.

Dear America: Standing in the Light by Mary Pope Osborne: A Quaker girl’s diary reflects her experiences growing up in the Delaware River Valley of Pennsylvania and her capture by Lenape Indians in 1763.

Dear America: I Walk in Dread by Lisa Rowe Fraustino : Twelve-year-old Deliverance Trembley writes in her diary about the fears and doubts that arise during the 1692 witch hunt and trials in Salem Village, Massachusetts, especially when her pious friend, Goody Corey, is condemned as a witch.

Priscilla Foster: The Story of a Salem Girl by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler: Hannah hears Granny Priss recount her involvement in the Salem witch trials of 1692 and the terrible consequences that occured when Granny Priss, as a young girl, joined Ann Putnam in accusing many innocent women of being witches.

The Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble: Two sisters, aged ten and twelve, are accused of witchcraft in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1692 and await trial in a miserable prison while their mother desperately searches for some way to obtain their freedom.

Voyage to a Free Land, 1630 by Laurie Lawlor: Two sisters endure a rough and dangerous trip across the ocean to the New World, creating a newly found respect and friendship.

Horseback on the Boston Post Road, 1704 by Laurie Lawlor: As the winter of 1704 approaches, New Englanders are reeling from the news of war with the French and Indians. Meanwhile a mysterious letter has arrived for the widow Madame Sarah Kemble Knight, instructing her to bring the twin servants, twelve-year-olds Hester and Philena, on an unfamiliar journey from Boston toward New Haven, Connecticut.

Adventure on the Wilderness Road, 1775 by Laurie Lawlor: In 1775, while traveling with her family from Virginia to Kentucky, and joined by another family along the way, eleven-year-old Elizabeth reads Gulliver’s Travels to the children and keeps a journal of their adventures, which include a runaway slave, encounters with Cherokees, and a near-fatal accident.

A Pickpocket's Tale by Karen Schwabach: When Molly, a ten-year-old orphan, is arrested for picking pockets in London in 1731, she is banished to America and serves as an indentured servant for a New York City family that expects her to follow their Jewish traditions.

Wheel of the Moon by Sandra Forrester: In England in 1627, newly-orphaned Pen Downing leaves her country village for London where she is abducted and sent to Virginia to work as an indentured servant.

Books from the History Mysteries series: Trouble at Fort LaPointe (early 1700s Lake Superior region), Enemy in the Fort (1754 New Hampshire during the French and Indian War), Shadows in the Glasshouse (1620s Jamestown Colony), Mystery on Skull Island (1724 South Carolina)

Books from the American Diaries series by Kathleen Duey: Summer MacCleary, Virginia, 1749 and Sarah Anne Hartford, Massachusetts, 1651

Silence and Lily by Kathleen Duey: In 1773, twelve-year-old Silence works to please her mother through household chores and weekly etiquette lessons in hopes of spending time with her beloved horse, Lily, while the men of Boston, including her Loyalist father and brother, discuss a possible war over taxation without representation.

Salem Witch by Patricia Hermes: Salem, 1692. Devils and witches are an accepted fact of life and religion. When some girls in the village begin having fits and tremors, their torments are attributed to the action of witches. Elizabeth Putnam and her parents are different from many of the other village folk, and they doubt the superstitions that terrify the town. As Elizabeth struggles to find her way among the alarming events, she also finds herself at odds with George, her best friend and companion since babyhood. Things come to a head when Elizabeth herself is accused of witchcraft, and George must make a difficult choice between what his community believes and what he knows to be true.

The Beaded Moccasins by Lynda Durrant: After being captured by a group of Delaware Indians and given to their leader as a replacement for his dead granddaughter, twelve-year-old Mary Campbell is forced to travel west with them to Ohio.

The Whispering Rod by Nancy Kelley: In 1659, fourteen-year-old Hannah Pryor is troubled by the persecution of Quakers by Puritan Boston’s leading citizens, one of whom is her father, especially after learning of her deceased mother’s friendship with a Quaker woman.

Freedom's Pen by Wendy Lawton: A fictionalized biography of the girl who was brought to America from Gambia as a slave and who later gained fame as an African American poet of great renown, from her time in Africa until she gained her freedom.

The Captive Princess by Wendy Lawton: A novel about the childhood and teenage years of Pocahontas.

Almost Home by Wendy Lawton: While making the pilgrimage from Holland to America in 1620 with other English Separatists, teenaged Mary Chilton endures many hardships that test her faith in God.

Liberty Letters: Adventures in Jamestown by Nancy LeSourd: Letters between two young girls, one in London and the other in English settlements in Virginia, chronicle the events during the difficult early years at James Towne and Henricus and the role of Pocahontas in this period of history.

Before They Were Famous: Pocahontas by Caroline Corby: A novel about the childhood of Pocahontas.

My Brother, My Enemy by Madge Harrah: Determined to avenge the massacre of his family, fourteen-year-old Robert Bradford joins Nathaniel Bacon’s rebel army in hopes of wiping out the Susquehannock Indians of Virginia.

A Killing in Plymouth Colony by Carol Otis Hurst: In Plymouth Colony in the 1630s, John continually disappoints his father, Governor William Bradford, during a difficult time as the colony faces its first murder and subsequent trial.

On the Edge of Revolution by Deborah Kent: In Pennsylvania, in 1774, when her brother opposes the British authorities, Eliza Carter tries to decide which side to take if the American colonies rebel against Britain.

Journey to Jamestown by Lois Ruby: A story of the settling of Jamestown from the points of view of an English boy and a Native American girl of the nearby tribe.

The Mayflower Secret by Dave and Neta Jackson: Teenage Elizabeth Tilley, one of the colonists landing at New Plymouth on the Mayflower, sees her parents die from illness and wonders if God is punishing her for the terrible secret she carries.

Melitte by Fatima Shaik: In 1772, years of mistreatment force thirteen-year-old Melitte to decide whether or not to run away from the Frenchman who has kept her as a slave on his poor Louisiana farm and leave the young girl who is the only person who ever loved her.

Mercy Clifton: Pilgrim Girl by Peter Marshall: The 1620 storm-tossed voyage of the Mayflower is the worst experience of Mercy Clifton's sixteen years. She and her parents are Pilgrims, bound for the New World, where they can worship God in peace. Relying on her friends, Elizabeth and Priscilla, and the affection of an English Springer Spaniel named Loyal, Mercy survives the crossing and their first perilous months in America. But she is tested through painful loss, her attraction to the handsome but disturbing Jack Billington, and the perils of living in a danger-filled wilderness. Mercy faces her greatest challenge when she and her Indian friend Amie make an ominous discovery. Young rebels in the colony have so provoked the Native Americans that all-out war seems certain.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Book review: The Family Greene by Ann Rinaldi

The Family Greene by Ann Rinaldi (Published by Harcourt, May 24, 2010)

In 1764, the year she turns ten years old, Caty Littlefield’s mother dies and her father decides she must leave her home on Block Island to live on the mainland, where she can receive a proper education for a young lady in the home of her aunt and uncle. While living there, she learns of the growing unrest in the colonies that will eventually lead to war. She also meets her future husband, Nathanael Greene. Shortly after their marriage, the American Revolution begins and Caty eventually follows her husband, a general in the American army, to war.

Years later, Caty’s own daughter, Cornelia, who is eight years old when her part of the story begins, is growing up on the Greene family’s plantation in Georgia. Cornelia loves her father, a good man who is kind to his children, and is disturbed by her mother’s behavior, as it appears she may be unfaithful to her husband. Cornelia is even more disturbed when her cruel older sister, Martha, suggests to Cornelia that Nathanael Greene may not be her father, that Cornelia may have been born from her mother’s affair with General Anthony Wayne during the war. Cornelia is desperate to know the truth, but at the same time she is worried that the father who raised her will be deeply hurt by her mother’s behavior and the possibility she may have had a child with another man.

Although not my very favorite book by Ann Rinaldi, I did enjoy reading The Family Greene. I especially liked the historical setting, since I have always enjoyed reading historical fiction set around the time of the American Revolution. Despite Cornelia’s young age when the story begins (and she does seem a bit mature for her age at times, but some of that may be because in the 18th century children were expected to grow up faster), this is definitely a young adult book, due to the themes/plot which younger readers would likely have a hard time understanding. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction set in this time period, or who have read and enjoyed other books by Ann Rinaldi.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (Published by Delacorte, September 28, 2010)

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.
PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.
Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

I have read and enjoyed a number of books set during the French Revolution, and the time travel twist sounds interesting. I had actually intended to read A Northern Light by this author but never did. I will probably end up reading this one first!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

In My Mailbox - 5/1/10

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature. Here are my new books for this week:


Montacute House by Lucy Jago

Cess works caring for the chickens at Montacute House but on her thirteenth birthday everything changes. She finds a precious locket hidden in the chicken coop and is convinced someone has placed it there for her to find. But the day is overshadowed by fear as a boy's body is found by the river, and then when William disappears, Cess is accused by the villagers of bewitching her best friend. Cess is determined to find William and prove the villagers wrong, but is soon embroiled in a plot that threatens her world and forces Cess to draw on powers she never knew she possessed, powers that will place her life in danger if they are discovered by the villagers. Witchcraft, politics and religious ambition combine in this gripping and wonderfully realised novel set in the Somerset of the 1500s.

The Buccaneer's Apprentice by V. Briceland

On his first sea voyage away from the magical city of Cassaforte, seventeen-year-old Nic Dattore awakens to find the vessel overrun by marauding pirates—and everyone else on board kidnapped or killed. After slaying the pirate who attacked him, Nic tosses a torch into a cache of gunpowder and blows up the ship.
Washed up on a deserted island, Nic and a motley crew of castaways decide to commandeer the pirate ship to get home. They battle pirates, assassins, and a cursed ship with a powerful secret while racing against time to save Cassaforte from a diabolical coup.

The Glass Swallow by Julia Golding

Rain: She designs exquisite stained glass for the windows of her city. But the law is clear — it is forbidden for girls to be part of the glassmaker's guild. To keep her secret hidden, she leaves home and travels to the strange new country of Magharna.
Peri: When he witnesses Rain's capture by a gang of bandits, both his fate and his heart becomes tied to hers. They escape the outlaws, but Peri and his family of falconers are untouchables who are scorned by all, and Rain is not allowed to be part of their lives.
Can Rain and Peri's love survive the prejudices against them? And with the city on the brink of disaster will they be able to stop their world from smashing apart?

Highland Blessings by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Highland Blessings
is the story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise he made to his dying father. Bryce MacPhearson, a highland warrior, kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. While Akira s strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment when he forces her to wed him, hoping to end a half-century-old feud between their clans. While Akira begins to forgive, and Bryce learns to trust, a series of murders leaves a trail of unanswered questions, confusion, and a legacy of hate that once again rises between their families. Clearly, a traitor is in their midst. Now the one man Akira loves no longer trusts her, and her own life is in danger. Can Bryce look beyond his pain and seek the truth? Will Akira discover the threat against her before it s too late? How will God turn a simple promise into bountiful Highland blessings?

A Girl Like Me by Penny Matthews

Their lives couldn't be more different, but Emmie can't help liking Bertha Schippan. She's funny and knowing and wild, and she distracts Emmie from the monotony of farm life in their tiny, isolated community. But, as Emmie soon discovers, Bertha has secrets. Terrible secrets.
This heartbreaking story is based on a real crime that took place more than a century ago, capturing headlines all around Australia.

From Amazon Vine:

Brides of Alba: Healer by Linda Windsor

Sixth-century Scotland—in the time of Arthur….
Her mother’s dying prophecy to the chieftain Tarlach O’Byrne sentenced Brenna of Gowrys to twenty years of hiding. Twenty years of being hunted—by the O’Byrnes, who fear the prophecy, and by her kinsmen, who expect her to lead them against their oppressors. But Brenna is a trained and gifted healer, not a warrior queen. So she lives alone in the wilderness with only her pet wolf for company. When she rescues a man badly wounded from an ambush, she believes he may be the answer to her deep loneliness. Healing him comes as easy as loving him. But can their love overcome years of bitterness and greed…and bring peace and renewed faith to the shattered kingdom?

Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis

In the first book of the Irish Angels series, we meet Laura Foster, a woman with the darkest of pasts, and Reverend Brand McCormick, a man with everything to lose by loving her. Having escaped a life she never chose, Laura Foster is finally living her dream. But even after four years of posing as a respectable widow in Glory, Texas, she is always afraid someone from her past might reveal her true identity. Believing no man could love her if he knew the truth, Laura tries to resist Brand's courtship. His reputation would be shattered if Laura's former life is discovered. But it's not only Laura's past that threatens to bring him down---it's also his own. As they open their hearts to love and faith, will Laura and Brand find the depth and power of forgiveness from their community?
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