Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#Win The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel (US) (51)

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.
Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.
When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (July 26, 2016)
  • Publication Date: July 26, 2016
  • ASIN: B01AGIBQTO

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REVIEW:
Better than I initially thought.
It was Chapter 23 when I finally got it and started to enjoy the story. It was like six degrees of separation, with much separation in between. And by separation, I mean, confusion.
Oh, how I was confuzzled for most of this read. At times, I was lost at to what age the narrator was, it did flip around a bit. I was even lost as to who it was. Man, at times I was just lost. 
Then a blip of something fascinating would happen, and it flowed so well, that I had to keep reading.
I'm glad I did too, and didn't give up. Chapter 23 saw me with my mouth wide open as the pieces started to fit and make sense. Frankly, I even got choked up, and that's hard to do. 
So this is one of those reads that has you thinking. Has a huge amount of build up, and like I said, it's got six degrees of separation. Y'know, a full circle moment.
I think many of you will really like this read. So definitely give it a go if you think that it sounds up your alley.

3/5





An Ohio native, Tiffany McDaniel’s writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows. She is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and artist. The Summer that Melted Everything is her debut novel.
www.tiffanymcdaniel.com







FREDA'S VOICE ASKS;



When did you know you would be a writer?


Writing is what I remember doing as a kid outside of any external influence or direction to do so.  As soon as I could hold a crayon in my hand I was scribbling, but in my eyes, I was writing down what was in my head.  Not realizing it was story, until much older when I understood what story is.  From there I crafted homemade books out of notebook paper, cardboard flaps, and my mother’s yarn to tie it all together.  I’ve always want to be a writer.  There’s really nothing that would make me happier.  


Who or what inspires your writing?

What inspires my writing is the characters themselves.  There’s an obligation I feel to the characters to really tell their story as honestly as I can.  For me, the characters are real people and I’m merely the vessel through which they pass to get into this world.  The more I write and draft a story, and the more the characters become realized, the more they themselves inspire me to get it right.  

Have you written anything else?

I have eight other novels completed.  Currently I’m working on my ninth novel.  The novel I hope to follow The Summer that Melted Everything up with is When Lions Stood as Men.  It’s a story of a Jewish brother and sister who escape Nazi Germany, cross the Atlantic Ocean, and end up in Ohio of all places.  Struggling with the guilt of surviving the Holocaust, they create their own sort of camp where they punish themselves, realizing in the end it was each other they truly had to survive.   

Any advice to aspiring writers?

To never give up.  I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen years old, and didn’t get a publishing contract until I was twenty-nine.  It was eleven years of rejection and fear I’d never be published.  Literary fiction, like the genre I write, is really difficult to get publishers to take a risk on as there isn’t as high of a return on profit as there is for commercial fiction.  I still can’t believe I’m about to see my book on the shelf and I feel for writers still on the journey to publication.  To them, I say it will happen for you!  Never turn your back on your dreams. Never give up.    



WANNA WIN A SIGNED COPY?

US Only
1 winner

Good luck!



**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. A NetGalley copy was provided to facilitate a review. Opinions are owned by Freda's Voice. Freda's Voice is not responsible for the prize shipment, lost, damaged or stolen prizes.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose #Excerpt



M.J. ROSE grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers, and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.







As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

Nestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.



  • Series: The Daughters of La Lune
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 19, 2016)
  • ISBN: 9781476778099


 Chapter 1


July 19, 1918


“Are you Opaline?” the woman asked before she even stepped all the way into the workshop. From the anxious and distraught tone of her voice, I guessed she hadn’t come to talk about commissioning a bracelet for her aunt or having her daughter’s pearls restrung.
Though not a soldier, this woman was one of the Great War’s wounded, here to engage in the dark arts in the hopes of finding sol- ace. Was it her son or her brother, husband, or lover’s fate that drove her to seek me out?
France had lost more than one million men, and there were battles yet to be fought. We’d suffered the second largest loss of any country in any war in history. No one in Paris remained untouched by tragedy.
What a terrible four years we’d endured. The Germans had placed La Grosse Bertha, a huge cannon, on the border between Picardy and Champagne. More powerful than any weapon ever built, she proved able to send shells 120 kilometers and reach us in Paris.
Since the war began, Bertha had shot more than 325 shells into our city. By the summer of 1918, two hundred civilians had died, and almost a thousand more were hurt. We lived in a state of anticipation and readiness. We were on the front too, as much at risk as our soldiers.
The last four months had been devastating. On March 11, the Vincennes Cemetery in the eastern inner suburbs was hit and hundreds of families lost their dead all over again when marble tombs and granite gravestones shattered. Bombs continued falling into the night. Buildings all over the city were demolished; craters appeared in the streets.
Three weeks later, more devastation. The worst Paris had suffered yet. On Good Friday, during a mass at the Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais Church, a shell hit and the whole roof collapsed on the congregation. Eighty-eight  people were killed; another sixty- eight were wounded. And all over Paris many, many more suffered psychological damage. We became more worried, ever more afraid. What was next? When would it happen? We couldn’t know. All we could do was wait.
In April there were more shellings. And again in May. One hit a hotel in the 13th Arrondissement, and because Bertha’s visits were silent, without warning, sleeping guests were killed in their beds.
By the middle of July, there was still no end in sight.



**No compensation was received for posting. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Armoires and Arsenic by Cassie Page (50)

Idyllic, Darling Valley was, or so Olivia thought when she first saw the pristine town nestled in the hills outside of San Francisco. Just the place to begin over. Away from crazy LA, her hectic architectural design business, and Brooks Baker, world renowned architect and the man who broke her heart. Even the name, Darling Valley, promised peace, quiet, and the promise of a fabulous makeover for her career. The blogs called it Billionaire Hollow, because Darling Valley was home to the largest contingent of billionaires in the world. They built their weekend mansions high in the hills overlooking the town, and Olivia planned to make a killing decorating them. 

Until a killing of another kind appeared on her doorstep. 

Get to know Olivia M. Granville, OMG for short, her bizarrely couture-minded friend Tuesday, her adorable sidekick, Cody, the handsome Detective Richards, and the saints and scoundrels of Darling Valley. Along the way, see if you can figure out who put the deadly surprise in Olivia’s $30,000 antique armoire. Because somebody has to or OMG will lose her brand new business and much more in this fast-paced, stylish cozy. 


FREE ON AMAZON

  • Kindle: 8545 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Helen Cassidy Page; 1 edition (November 18, 2013)
  • ASIN: B00EDDW6AC

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About the Author

Cassie Page is the pen name of a San Francisco writer who publishes best seller childrens books, cookbooks and teaches creative writing. Look for her Darling Valley Mystery Series and, coming soon, Tuesday's Tea Leaves Mysteries.

REVIEW:
Cute.
Yeah, a cozy that's cute.
The setting was a nice little town, something like the Hamptons, and the mystery was not really all that mysterious. I pretty much guessed who the bad guy was from the get-go, but really didn't think I would be right.  I was half right any way, since I didn't see the other half and that was nice to still be surprised in the end.
A good start to the series, not mind-blowing, but good. All you cozy lovers out there will enjoy it for sure.
I would definitely read book 2.

3/5


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned from purchases made from the links within. This copy was obtained free on Amazon. Opinions are owned by Freda's Voice.

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