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Reviews Written by
Great Historicals "Mirella Sichirollo Patzer" (Canada)

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Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)
Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and Gripping!, 24 Nov. 2015
I have been an avid follower of all books by these authors, thoroughly loving each book. This book was no exception. There is a beautiful cadence to the story, flowing at a perfect pace while striking an easy balance between detail and plot. The characters, especially the protaganist and his cohort, are fascinating in every aspect. They are deeply complex with differing motivations as they struggle to survive as slaves of the native people. Of course there is a bit of a romance, although that is a small contribution to the plot.

What I enjoyed most is that it is based on the true story of John Jewitt, the son of an English blacksmith who sailed on The Boston and was captured by the Indians and later escaped. Of all the Morcan novels, this is by far my favourite. It is understandable why this was chosen to be made into film! An awesome tale!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


The Last Midwife
The Last Midwife
by Sandra Dallas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Historical Fiction, 20 Nov. 2015
This review is from: The Last Midwife (Hardcover)
What a pleasure it has been to read this novel. I had never read a novel by Sandra Dallas before, but I will be avidly reading her others. This novel was so utterly satisfying that she is now one of my favourite authors and I've added her website to the links on the side of this blog: http://greathistoricalfiction.blogspot.com.

Brilliantly researched, Sandra captures the essence of the times and the numerous hardships faced by women of all ages. The stories has roots in the historical past - she studied the plight of midwives who found themselves face to face with the law when a birth went awry. There is a strong tone of doing the right thing, no matter the injustices the main character faces. The protaganist is a woman called Gracy Brookens, a skilled and respected midwife. Clearly unselfish, caring, and dedicated to helping women, there is much to laud in this character. Courageous and determined, she faces adversity in a way that is startling stoic.

The prose is lovely and flowing, and the descriptions perfect - enough to bring the scene to life without slowing the pace. Although on the surface, this novel looks like it might be purely historical or women's fiction, there is a mystery at its heart, a bonus to an already rich tale. I admire Sandra Dallas' talent and am eager to read more of her novels. Thorough enjoyable! 5 stars and more!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Inateck Marsbox Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Speaker with 15 Hour Playtime, Stereo High-Def Sound Speaker with 2x 5 Watts Drivers
Inateck Marsbox Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Speaker with 15 Hour Playtime, Stereo High-Def Sound Speaker with 2x 5 Watts Drivers

5.0 out of 5 stars Mighty Awesome!, 19 Nov. 2015
A great Xmas present to purchase online on Amazon!

I'm really enjoying my latest toy. It's the Inateck Marsbox Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Speaker. I've become a big fan of Inateck Products because this company delivers on high quality at an affordable price.

This bluetooth speaker has a built in FM Radio and a built in microphone so when I am busy at my laptop or making a craft, I can dial my phone handsfree!

What I love most is that it has a really long battery life, which allows me to move the speaker from bedroom to kitchen to garage easily without any trouble at all. This is great when I'm in the kitchen as I can listen to an audio book as I'm busy working.

What my husband loves most about this speaker is that it is very, very loud and powerful. And I truly mean this. Incredible sound comes out of this compact little box. As with other Inateck products, it is very easy to pair with your devices. When it is in use, there's a lovely blue light that shows its operating. The speaker comes with a well laid out instruction manual that makes it easy for even those who are technology challenged to follow.

Everything about this speaker screams quality. It is of a nice weight, not flimsy at all. In fact, it has a rubberized feel and is very stable wherever it is set down. The black/red color is stunning and it has large buttons that are easily visible with maxiumum accessiblity. The power cords that come with it are sturdy and covered in an enhanced material that protects the actual cord. They come beautifully wrapped and are red and black in color. The product comes with an aux cable, micro USB cable, a felt carry pouch and a user manual. The battery on this thing is rated for 10 hours minimum which is very good as well

I'm an avid Netflix watcher and one of my favourite luxuries is to sit in bed and watch a movie or a tv program on my tablet. Hence I keep the speaker on my bedside table and prefer the sound from the speaker than the sound that comes from my tablet. And as stated earlier, I also love listening to an audio book with the Marsbox.

I have easily connected the Marsbox to my Samsung phone, my Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tab, and my iPad mini! When my phone rungs, I can answer the call and speak and listen through this speaker. I don't know how I ever lived without it.


The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein
The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling biographical fiction, 6 Nov. 2015
Antoinette May has re-envisioned Mary's life in a most comprehensive and compelling way. She brings to life the famous poets who were integral to Mary's life, namely Percy Bysshe Shelly and Lord Byron. In doing so, she shows us the darker side of these famous men, their human failings as well as their genius talents. The writing of Frankenstein is not foremost in the novel. Rather, the reader discovers the elements of Mary's life that gave rise to novel and the monster's creation.

What I enjoyed about this novel is that the characters were presented without prejudice, leaving the reader to decide whether they liked them or not, including Mary. Secret affairs, obsession, friendship, and debauchery line this novels pages, demonstrating their effects upon the main characters. Congratulations to the author for writing such an indepth biographical fiction novel about this fascinating woman's life. Truly unforgettable!


Shriver
Shriver
by Chris Belden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Enchanting, 6 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Shriver (Paperback)
Shriver has to be the most uniquely fascinating book I have ever read. It is vastly different, unclassifiable, and intensely entertaining. The back cover blurb aptly describes what the book is about, but it does little to express just how charming this little book truly is. Its pages are filled with quirky characters, outlandish situations, a protaganist who is a loser in real life, but who readers ultimately fall in love with. The books beauty is in its simplicity - easy to read, brief, witty. I definitely recommend this great little book, especially for readers who want something unique, whimsical, enchanting! Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story
The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story
Price: £3.98

4.0 out of 5 stars An atmospheric ghost story, 28 Oct. 2015
The Visitant by Megan Chance is a delightful gothic tale set in Venice. Elena Spira travels from the U.S. to Basilio Palazzo to work as a private nurse for an epileptic man named Samuel Ferber. The mood is set with the crumbling palazzo and its location in a less than desirable, neglected area of Venice ripe with crime and plagued with filth. Further, an old aunt and a female servant and their suspicious, untoward behavior adds curiosity and tension to the story as it progresses. Once there, Elena encounters an impoverished nobleman named Nero Basilio (whose family owns the decrepit palazzo). Seizures, ghost sightings, addiction, family secrets, and loyalties are revealed throughout. The ending was definitely an unexpected surprise. This was a truly enjoyable cozy gothic mystery. Definitely satisfying!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


The Courtesan: A Heartbreaking Historical Epic of Loss, Loyalty and Love
The Courtesan: A Heartbreaking Historical Epic of Loss, Loyalty and Love
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating woman, 25 Oct. 2015
Review by Mirella Patzer - http://www.historyandwomen.com
The exotic setting of old China has always fascinated me. This novel is set in the Qing Dynasty of the 1880's and opens with the execution of 7 year old Sai Jinhua's father. Her mother was a concubine who died in childbirth. Her father remarried, but he has been executed for political reasons. Unwanted, Jinhua's stepmother sells her to a brothel where she will live until she is old enough to begin work as a prostitute. The life there is very harsh and Sai Jinhau is subjected to having her feet bound. At twelve, Sai Jinhua loses her innocence and joins the other prostitues in their work. The novel follows her life and her rise when she is sold to Hong, a Chinese Diplomat who is beguiled by her resemblance to his first wife who committed suicide. Together, they travel to Vienna where Jinhua is a novelty. There, she experiences freedom and knowledge and gains self-confidence. But Hong dislikes her newfound strength and empowermentis and more and more he keeps her locked away from society.

Nicely researched, I thought the complexities of the Qing Dynasty were aptly described. The early life of this poor orphan who faced such horrendous circumstances was fascinating. I found the first half of the book unputdownable, and the pace slowed a bit thereafter, and I became a bit detached from the story. Some of the magic was lost, but the story still held my interest enough to get to the ending. A nice novel that swept me into a time and a world of long ago. A fascinating woman of history indeed!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


The Cult: A Novel of Two Norman Kingdoms (The Abraxas Chronicles Book 1)
The Cult: A Novel of Two Norman Kingdoms (The Abraxas Chronicles Book 1)
Price: £2.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning opening novel, 21 Oct. 2015
This is the opening book in an exciting new trilogy entitled the Abraxas Chronicles, and it is a true stunner. The opening sentences hooked me until the story's ultimate conclusion. All the elements I love are included: an old abbey, a gothic feel, a multi-layered romance, murder, and an exciting plot! The secrets of an ancient old cult thrust the lives of three young persons into peril and force their separation, affecting them each in diverse ways. It was all so very fascinating and intriguing.

Beautifully written, brilliantly plotted, this is a must read, especially for fans of Ken Follett, or aficionados of books set in the medieval era. It is much more than a murder myster, much more than a saga, much more than a romance. It is rich in every way. Loved it! Will definitely read more from this author. You should read it too! I am eagerly anticipating book 2 in the trilogy.

Thank you to the author. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


The Winter Crown: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
The Winter Crown: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
by Elizabeth Chadwick
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 2 in the Aquitaine Series is a sure winner!, 20 Oct. 2015
In an exciting new trilogy, Author Elizabeth Chadwick brings to life Eleanor of Aquitaine. The first book, The Summer Queen, covers her life through the 2nd crusade to the annullment of her marriage to Louis VII, king of France.The Winter Crown is the second in this tremendously vivid and engaging trilogy.

Being a woman in the 12th century was fraught with turbulence. Arranged marriages for political reasons, the duty of bearing sons, ever constant warfare, intrigues of courtly life, and dangers of childbirth. These were the everyday fears women faced, especially Eleanor of Aquitaine.

One of the most powerful women of her time, she was the daughter of the Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou. Not only was she a woman of great beauty, but she inherited immense wealth, making her one of the most sought-after women of her time.

When she was fifteen, she married Louis VII of France, a young price of her own age. When his father died, they were crowned King and Queen. They reined for fifteen years with Eleanor being the smarter one with a stronger, more vocal personality. During that time, Eleanor proved semi-fruitful. She provided her husband with two daughters, but no sons.

Eleanor was not afraid of war. In fact, she convinced her husband to initiate a crusade into the Holy Land and rode proudly at the front of their army. Her failure to provide her husband was one reason their marriage failed. It was annulled and Eleanor's vast dowry lands in Aquitaine and Poitiers were lawfully returned to her. She was thirty years old, still beautiful, still wealthy, and highly desirable. She soon came to the attention of Henry Plantaganet, the grandson of England's King Henry I. He was twelve years younger than Eleanor when they married. Her lands brought power and greater wealth to England, even more than that of her ex-husband.

Despite their stormy marriage, Eleanor provide herself a very good breeder, providing her husband with several sons, two of which would be destined to become English kings. All the while, she ruled her own lands and was a strong participant in English politics. Because of her love for the written word, she helped give light to Courtly Love.

As the years passed, her marriage deteriorated. She became a great adversary to her husband and even encouraged and supported her sons in a revolt against him. All their best efforts failed and her husband captured and arrested her. He kept her in custody in strict, less comfortable conditions in a monastery at Fontevrault, Anjou. She spent what remained of her life there and died at the age of 82 in the year 1204.

Elizabeth Chadwick continues this spellbinding tale of one of the most renowned queens of medieval times - Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her story has endured over the centuries, and has been immortalized in movies and books, but never before has there been a more indepth recreation of her life than this trilogy by this most beloved author. The Winter Crown picks up where The Summer Queen leaves us - Eleanor is newly married to the king of England. Full of conflict, Chadwick brings to life their tumultuous marriage clearly shows the strength and tenacity of this famous queen.

Although it is not necessary to read the trilogy in order, I highly recommend you do so to get the full history of this fascinating queen. Readers are
eagerly awaiting the third book, The Autumn Throne, which is currently in the writing stage - it will definitely be worth the wait!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley!

For the full review, including video and links, please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com/2015/10/she-wolf-and-queen-crusader-eleanor-of.html


The Sisters of Versailles: A Novel (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy)
The Sisters of Versailles: A Novel (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy)
by Sally Christie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The four sisters who became the Sun King's Mistresses, 14 Oct. 2015
The Sisters of Versailles is a biographical fiction novel about the five Nesle sisters, four of which became the mistresses of King Louis XV. They are Louise, Pauline, Adelaide, Hortense, and Marie Anne. The novelist did an excellent job of recreating the grandeur of the 18th century French court of the "Sun King". She aptly describes the lush glittering palaces, luxurious gowns, the cruel and painful intrigues, and disturbing cramped living conditions some of the lesser members of the court endured. The novel is written in the first person point of view of the sisters, which clearly brought to life their personalities and differences. The characters each developed uniquely, brilliantly, and in sometimes unpredictable ways.

As with all biographical novels, there are times when the pace slows a bit, but in this case, the interest in court life kept me reading with keeness. This is the introductory book of a planned trilogy about these fascinating sisters, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next two installments, which swill bring to life some of the king's more notorious mistresses.

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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